Top Trends in logistics (2019)- The digital revolution

Rolf Bax

Rolf Bax

September 11, 2019 - 15:49


Reading time: 5 minutes. Contains 801 words

The digital revolution can be observed all around us - in every organisation or household. You can no longer ignore it, and if you look back at the past and look ahead to the future, you will see that we are right in the middle of it.

Since globalization, digitization in the logistics sector has been one of the most important opportunities for efficiency, new business models, better customer experiences and sustainability. In this blog, we will describe what this means for the future based on a recently published logistics trend report from DHL.

logistics and green environment

1. Customer Centricity

In today's digital environment, customer focus is of paramount importance. Customers have a lot of power to decide what, where and how to purchase products and services. Transparency, affordability, ease and speed in delivery and returns are important issues that have created new business models to ensure customer focus.

Omni Channel will remain a major trend for the future. Where B2b retail doubles compared to B2c, it will be necessary for companies to respond to this development. In terms of logistics, think of flexible fulfilment networks, inventory visibility solutions, proximity-based cost models for shipping and innovative last-mile delivery solutions.

New solutions are also required in the field of fresh products in order to meet customer needs. Consumers also shop online for daily groceries (the percentage is expected to be 70% within the next 5 years) and online sales will increase considerably.

To be able to meet the customer centricity requirement, you will have to focus as much as possible on the needs of consumers. The trend of Connected Life with smart technologies in and around the home will continue to be relevant in the future.

The final aspect, Servitization, helps manufacturers with a paradigm shift from products to a situation where service is central. This creates new business models that are much more focused on consumers.

2. Sustainability – becoming a zero-emissions industry

Agreements are made around the world every day to reduce CO2 emissions. Gasoline and diesel will be minimized in the coming 10-20 years. Eco-friendly solutions will be devised to reduce residual waste. A great deal of attention is also paid to this matter in logistics. DHL, for example, wants to be a zero-emission company in 2050 and others will follow. Sustainability is not only a goal in transport, but also in warehousing. Green fleets & logistics and smart containers are just two terms that will become very important in the future.

3. Technology – catalyzing innovation with a cost performance tipping point

So much is currently possible in terms of technology. Everyone and everything is connected with each other; predictability, big data, falling technology costs and the ever-increasing computing performance ensure that supply chains become smarter, faster, more agile and predictable. The adoption of technology is currently minimal, but the long-term benefits are huge. The possibilities of IoT (internet of things) in logistics are estimated at 1.9 trillion US dollars. One of the other opportunities is Nextgeneration wireless. New wireless networks can be a catalyst for large-scale IoT deployments in logistics and connected logistics will enable a whole new host of smarter supply chain capabilities. AI (artificial intelligence) is becoming much more important than in the past and the same applies to Blockchain. Blockchain removes significant layers of complexity from the global supply chain. Various developments and start-ups are currently underway and the first results are positive, but the real success has yet to be demonstrated. The adoption of Blockchain could redefine centuries-old processes.

4. People – creating the collaborative human-machine workforce of the future

Automation of human tasks (in particular labor-intensive, repetitive tasks) is one of the larger pillars that includes the digitization of logistics and transport. One of the first things that often comes to mind in this regard is the disappearance of jobs, but automation also involves the creation of jobs in completely new fields in logistics.
The market also requires automation (faster delivery, staff shortage, etc.). This has been the case in China for several years already (they are at the forefront of robotization). The first robots are also appearing (also on a larger scale) in warehouses in other areas. As a result, more jobs in digital work will be required and new work models will be created.

This blog is a summary of and is based on the DHL trend report of September 2019. The report describes the logistics trend radar, indicating the relevance of social, business and technological trends for the next 5 years or the period after 5 years. See the following dhl trend report

About ControlPay

ControlPay has been the Freight Audit company for multinationals since 2002. In addition to our development of Freight Audit software, we are best-placed to be experts on the ins and outs of logistics and the supply chain: our team of 250 colleagues is ready to provide insight into your transport data to support you at tactical or strategic level. 

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