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LEAD Innovation Blog

Read our latest articles on innovation management and innovation in a wide range of industries.

Date: 30-Aug-2019
Posted by: Julian Eberling
Category: logistics

These 6 trends improve the transport logistics of tomorrow

Globalization demands logistics that function more and more efficiently. At the same time, transport by ship, plane and truck must become more environmentally friendly. Read in this blog post which trends will make global transport more efficient and sustainable.

Just a few years ago, online shoppers accepted a delivery time of one week or more as a matter of course. Today, many suppliers try to deliver the goods to the buyer on the same day (Same Day Delivery). Rapid delivery has made online trading in some product groups, such as fresh food, socially acceptable.

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Extended workbench requires perfect logistics

The B2B segment is also demanding ever faster and more punctual delivery. Certain components must arrive at their destination at a precisely defined time. Otherwise the process chain of a manufacturer would come to a standstill. In the automotive industry, for example, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) such as Volkswagen and Co manufacture only 25 percent of their products themselves. Three quarters of the value added generated by a car is generated by suppliers.


The dynamics of globalization are increasing

The dynamics of the international division of labour and trade are increasing the demand for transport services. According to the traffic forecast of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, freight traffic (in tonne-kilometers) will increase by almost 40 percent by 2030 compared with 2010. At the same time, the transport sector is fueling climate change: around 5.5 percent of global CO2 emissions are attributable to logistics. The industry is therefore facing the challenge of having to do more on the one hand and reduce its own ecological footprint on the other.


Pressure to change leads to many new ideas

However, logistics companies are also trying to master this pressure to change by players from other sectors through many innovations and new ideas. These 6 trends are worth a closer look:

  1. Delivering on suspicion brings increased efficiency
    Anticipatory Shipping means transporting goods to territories before the customers based there have even ordered them. Algorithms use data to generate information about the customer, his ordering behavior, or external factors such as the weather to forecast the probability of purchase. The term Amazon was already coined in 2013, when the online group applied for a patent for the forward-looking shipment. With Anticipatory Shipping, the logistics company can use its capacities more efficiently because it already knows the future demand earlier. For the recipient, it has the advantage that he gets the goods even faster. At least almost as quickly as if they were buying it from a stationary retailer.
  2. Emission-free transport becomes the USP
    Since 2009, the Tres Hombres team has been offering 100% emission-free transport by sailing ship. The fleet already consists of two sailors sailing between South America and Europe and between Portugal and Scandinavia. Wine and olive oil are loaded on the route to South America. On the return journey to Europe, rum, coffee beans and other fairly traded goods are in the hold. The rum is bottled in Holland and marketed and sold in Europe. The products that have undergone such an adventurous and sustainable journey have the aura of adventure. This becomes part of the product and makes it unmistakable. Climate-neutral transport thus becomes a USP.
  3. Air delivery leaves test stage behind
    Drone delivery has been under discussion for many years: in 2013 Amazon boss Jeff Bezos announced that he would offer to deliver parcels by drone at least in the USA in four or five years' time. Bezos was unable to keep this promise. Nevertheless, Drohen are already providing their service as deliverers: Google's sister company Wing has a licence for this in its pocket in Australia and is already carrying out transport orders. Many other logistics companies are also already testing Drohen as a deliverer: DHL's Paketcopter took off for the first time in 2013. As part of the Heidi Drohnen project, Österreichische Post AG had parcels transported to remote mountain farms. A deliverer initially transported the goods by electric car to a valley. From this vehicle, the drone delivered the consignment to a farm further up the mountain.
  4. Diversity of parking possibilities increases
    If the first delivery attempt is already successful, this saves costs and resources. In the meantime, there are many innovations that are designed to prevent the messenger from having to visit an address a second time. Reception boxes allow the messenger to store the address as well as parcel sacks, which the recipient can simply place in front of the apartment door if required. These solutions are usually based on an app with which both messenger and recipient can open a container and securely close it again. This lightweight mechanism, made possible by digitalization, can be applied to many other places: Mercedes drivers can have parcels delivered to their cars in Stuttgart and Berlin. Smart door locks also allow successful delivery if the courier cannot find the recipient at home. This allows the user to control access to his home or garage remotely in real time. A camera transmits a live image to the recipient's smartphone and shows not only who is ringing, but also whether the messenger is actually just parking the parcel.
  5. The crowd provides additional transport capacity
    There are already too few truck drivers and deliverers today. Some logisticians have already started to use the capacities of private individuals. The core idea of this crowd logistics is that people who would have travelled a certain distance by car, bicycle or train anyway transport goods on the side. Amazon uses this concept in its Amazon Flex program, for example. A similar idea has already become established in the field of passenger transport: although hotly disputed, it is now represented in many cities.
  6. Automation reduces logistics costs
    According to a study by the German Federal Association of Freight Forwarders and Logistics (DSLV) and the Federal Association of Freight Transport, Logistics and Waste Management (BGL), there are currently about 45,000 to 60,000 drivers missing. Insiders are already saying that the supply collapse is imminent. This situation inevitably leads to higher transport costs. But this problem should soon solve itself: A study by PwC's Strategy& subsidiary in Germany assumes that logistics costs will be almost halved by 2030. According to the authors of the study, digitization will make it possible to reduce the costs of standardized transports by 47 percent. This would almost triple the operating time of autonomous trucks compared to person-controlled trucks. Logically: robot trucks do not need rest periods. And since driverless trucks do not require a driver's cab, the manufacturing costs of the trucks are reduced by a further 7 percent, and the space can also be used for transport: "In just a few years, the commercial vehicle and logistics sectors will merge into an ecosystem that is digitally and efficiently controlled. Robots are already being used in distribution centers and electric vehicles for last-mile logistics," predicts Dr. Gerhard Nowak, Partner at Strategy& in Germany.


Conclusion: These 6 trends improve the transport logistics of tomorrow

Strongly rising demand, scarce resources and increasing pressure to act in a more environmentally friendly way - this is how the dilemma of today's transport industry can be described in a few words. The industry is developing many new innovations and ideas to meet these enormous challenges. Some very striking approaches, such as delivery by drone or emission-free delivery (without purchasing CO2 certificates) by sailor, will only be applicable in small niches in the future. With other trends, such as digitalization and autonomous driving, it is still difficult today to assess what effect they will ultimately have.

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Julian Eberling

Born in Vienna. Since 2018 "Certified Service Design Thinker" he has been pursuing his passion as Innovation Manager at LEAD Innovation.

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