A new decade has arrived with many challenges, questions and uncertainty. Looking back at the past 10 years and what changes we have come across, we see that digitalization and mobilization have taken huge steps in transforming every single industry, including logistics. Logistics plays a significant role in keeping the world economy moving, but what keeps the logistics moving? Is it true that the industry must transform and where have the supply chain enterprises to focus on, to stay on the top of the competition?
Changes needed now
In 2020, we see new global pressures, opportunities in e-commerce markets and alliances coalescing around new technologies. All of this – to finally make the supply chain enterprises take so needed actions to transform the industry. Even though the process has already started and millions have been already invested in new equipment, technology, and operations, it’s still just the beginning, and it will continue to reshape an entire business in the following years. However, the transformation is happening slower than in other industries.
According to Gravity, 46% of logistics professionals describe their supply chain as paper-based, and only 19% say they are digitised. Companies have to deliver their products faster than ever before, at a low cost, and in a sustainable way. Rapid changes, new demands and the growth of e-commerce force shippers and carriers to improve efficiency to optimise their operations.
Efficiency is and will remain an important factor in every logistics company but the fact that still 46% of logistics professionals describe their supply chain as paper-based proves that there is a lack of it. We all know that there is plenty transport capacity within the industry but the real-time insight of the available amount is missing. Choices are being made and orders are assigned based on routine and incomplete information. By use of data sharing between organisations we can ensure that better decisions will be made due to shared knowledge and insights. This will result in a shorter decision making process, a decrease in costs and more sustainability. Together we can make a change!
Focus on sustainability
The impact on the planet from the way we live and work is going to be the major concerns when designing new products, value chains, new fulfilment structures and new consumption patterns. We must change and must do it soon. The logistics industry needs to be more sustainable, more environmentally friendly and more resource-efficient. In 2010 it was “nice” if companies had implemented some steps towards sustainability, but in 2020 companies must have a focused and proven sustainable way of thinking and working to be relevant to their employees and clients. It’s not only about emissions, but it’s also about the entire ecosystem that businesses influence and control.
Sustainability is going to become one of the main purposes of many companies - it will be the reason why they exist. It will be a key differentiator in attracting clients, investors, and employees. Supply chain enterprises will grow from being focused on the costs of sales and fulfilment to being in the centre of sustainability. As a result, we are going to see more collaboration between alike companies within the logistics industry to share the knowledge and optimise the environmental impact. Businesses will stop competing "who is the most sustainable", and it will bring the mindset that we are in this together.
Fortunately, some of the companies have already started the journey of collaborating and working towards sustainable logistics. Startups like ChainCargo and UTURN, which use existing transport movements and focus on reducing empty kilometres and CO2 emissions, are great examples of how can supply chain enterprises make their businesses more sustainable and more efficient without any investment.
ChainCargo is a platform for sustainable courier services that links shippers to available transport in the neighbourhood. In this way, shippers don’t waste their time by searching available transportation, and carriers get a better occupancy of their loading capacity. “We want to change the way of thinking in logistics, and we believe that we can transport more volume and more efficient with the current capacity of vehicles. We do that by making available capacity visible and accessible.” The ChainCargo solution helps to solve two major problems within the industry: sustainability and driver shortage.
UTURN is an online platform with the mission to make the sector of container transport more efficient, transparent, sustainable and fair. They connect supply and demand of transport capacity in real-time. ”In this way, shippers don’t have to search for available transport capacity, and carriers can optimize their planning and reduce empty kilometres. This results in lower costs for shippers, higher margins for carriers and a more sustainable world.” UTURN also facilitates direct contact between both parties in the supply chain, in this way the industry becomes more transparent as well which in turn leads to more insights.