Digitalisation could help the logistics industry to reduce its inefficiencies and shrink its environmental impact. Logistics has introduced digital innovations at a slower pace than some other industries. This slower rate of digital adoption brings enormous risks that, if ignored, could be potentially catastrophic for even the biggest established players in the business.
Logistics companies are facing an era of unprecedented change as digitisation takes hold and customer expectations evolve. New technologies are enabling greater efficiency and more collaborative operating models; they are also re-shaping the marketplace in ways that are only just beginning to become apparent. New entrants, whether they be start-ups or the industry’s own customers and suppliers, are also shaking up the sector.
The digital transformation of the logistics industry over the next decade:
- Information services
Digitally enabled information services will put data at the heart of logistics businesses through initiatives such as logistics control towers and analytics as a service. These will reduce operating costs while improving operational efficiency.
- Logistics services
Digitally enabled logistics services will grow trade by creating digitally enhanced cross-border platforms. They will also help satisfy growing customer demand for faster same-day deliveries, and promote the concept of city logistics, which will allow firms to operate in ‘megacities’.
- Delivery capabilities
New delivery options such as digital trucks and drones mean more efficient ways to deliver shipments, while 3D printing and crowdsourcing offer new ways to think of manufacturing and logistics processes.
- Circular economy
A circular economy will foster a more sustainable product life cycle, helping to lessen the industry’s environmental footprint by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, air pollution and waste material.
- Shared logistics capabilities
Shared warehouse and shared transport capabilities are expected to increase asset utilization in the near future