Logistics: The need for an optimised ecosystem
The logistics sector is experiencing immense pressure from customers; thus, collaboration is becoming a key success factor to ensure longevity. Companies will need to use all available tools to make themselves stand out. Natalie Sauber, Market Intelligence and Future Mobility Lead at Arcadis, spoke to The Logistics Point to share her predictions for the future and why firms need to expand their ecosystems.
The full interview with Natalie Sauber is coming on the 25th February in The Logistics Point Magazine!
What emerging trends will affect supply chain and logistics in the new decade?
Customers have an increasing choice and live in a world where they want anything, anytime and anywhere. That is putting great pressure on third party logistics and other players, including the supply chain and the entire environment.
The need for sustainability has triggered growth in ‘fair and responsible’ logistics, i.e. providing new revenue-generating services while also improving wellbeing and protecting the environment. A negative consequence of the above two trends is reverse logistics. With e-commerce growing at an unprecedented rate all over the world it has become incredibly easy to order many items with one click and also return these in the same manner. Often the end user is not aware of the unintended consequences this behaviour has on the supply chain. The ability to adapt to changing technology and the readiness to use advanced analytics in decision making will be crucial in an increasingly automated logistics environment....
How will digitisation affect the industry?
For logistics companies, digitisation, big data and AI are all reshaping the capabilities of the sector. Increased Internet of Things (IoT) penetration, higher security, surveillance and more stringent environmental requirements are all challenging existing business models, leading to an era of unprecedented change...
What changes should be made to the infrastructure so it can accommodate all new technologies?
There is a definite need for standardisation of design to enable more efficient delivery. Future design practice should include design for interoperability and flexibility of operating systems so that the infrastructure is futureproof and can incorporate any new technologies (i.e. modular design). We must really stop looking at the cheapest options available and start considering what whole value we wish to achieve. New technologies are often an enabler in achieving the broader vision.
At present, all this new technology around last mile is desperately trying to fit into our existing (at times aging) infrastructure and it is almost constraining new breakthroughs. Whereas if you are given carte blanche, as with Sidewalk Labs in Toronto or Toyota’s 'city of the future' near Mount Fuji, you have virtually no constraints and can design the infrastructure to suit the technology...
Natalie Sauber leads market intelligence at Arcadis. She has significant insight on industry bespoke topics such as Technology and Data Centres; Logistics, Fulfilment and Last Mile; and Industries and Manufacturing. She tracks the latest trends, technologies and solutions impacting the built asset sector, combining thought leadership, innovation, strategy and business insight. Natalie is a well-respected industry influencer and contributor to professional journals, podcasts, (inter)national TV and the press.