Logistics industry is dynamic and its trends progress over time through regular bits of knowledge gathered from these four sources that identify key trends and developments.
The primary source is megatrends, which are often worldwide, stable, long term changes that decide more extensive social, technological and financial structures. The second source is the exact opposite; they are micro trends and new companies. Today’s little trends and innovations from start-ups could be tomorrow’s source of development, playing a noteworthy part in forming the eventual fate of logistics. The third source is our network of industry experts and partners, for example, research institutes and technology companies. This enables us to understand the up and coming era of logistics and technology research and development. Also, obviously, our fourth and most essential source is our customers. Frequent and open discussion with customers on the future of their industries enables us to anticipate trends that are influencing their lines of business.
Let’s look each of the above in some detail.
Megatrends: When we say megatrends, we mean such trends that have great momentum as well as dynamic growth to bring an overhaul in the industry, like –
- IT security awareness has increased in IT-rich supply chains resulting in elimination of risks that help avoid harmful attacks which can bring entire operations to a standstill.
- Energy source is bound to redefine over the next decade, putting challenges as well as opportunities in logistics. The shift to sustainable energy has given a rise to growing e-mobility solutions which require new logistics concepts to support, like full end-to-end lifecycle of lithium batteries.
- Big data analytics, Internet of Things, 3D printing and many such things are helping digitalisation of logistics. These enable new ways of increasing process efficiency, developing interaction with customers while driving new business models.
Micro trends and start-ups: With a much shorter time span, micro trends and start-ups play a major role in shaping the ‘tomorrow’ of logistics, when compared to long-term megatrends. Over the past few years, new market entrants are able to react in an agile manner to new market dynamics. This has created something known as ‘unbundling of logistics services’. Basically, well-set supply chain services can be unbundled into singular solutions that can be delivered better through tech-savvy start-ups.
Industry experts and researchers: In order to keep up with the latest trends and developments in technology, it is crucial to be in an open collaboration with strong global partner network. In recent years, cross-industry collaborations and joint initiatives with research institutes have delivered promising results. This helps in increasing the chances of getting solutions quicker to the market.
Customers: Understanding the challenges faced by customers and their early feedbacks must be incorporated, as this approach would help in developing solutions to more complex issues, industry or customer-specific. To achieve this, new platforms are needed to exchange ideas and jointly discover innovations that can be prototyped and tested. For example, automotive sector is being transformed by the shift towards electric mobility which require new solutions for battery logistics. In technology sector, changing consumer buyer behaviour and sales channels combined increasingly shorter product lifecycles will require flexible solutions to address peaks in transportation and goods storage.
To summarise, these four sources enable us to comprehend the trends and developments from a variety of alternate perspectives to build an all-encompassing point of view of the future of logistics.
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