Covid-19 has accelerated logistics innovation, e-commerce and the sector’s digitisation “by years”, according to DHL’s latest Logistics Trend Radar report.
However, disruptive trends such as self-driving vehicles and drones have yet to deliver, held back by legislative and technical challenges as well as limited social acceptance, the report adds.
Whilst e-commerce is growing rapidly the report notes it remains only a fraction of global consumer retail spending.
It also predicts that B2B e-commerce, which dwarfs the consumer market size by a factor of three, will follow suit.
Logistics firms will need to scale and adopt new technologies, such as intelligent physical automation, visibility tools powered by the Internet of Things and AI-driven predictive capabilities to meet rising e-commerce demand and remain competitive, the report warns.
With more than 90 national bans on single-use plastics and bulky packaging causing 40% parcel void space, logistics firms will also have to rethink packaging, the report predicts.
It recommends logistics companies adopt sustainable logistics which optimise processes, materials, cleaner fuels and smart facilities and containerisation to ensure they become more environmentally friendly.
The report states: “From cloud computing to collaborative robotics, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, logistics professionals have to make sense of a vast market of novel technology.
“Modernizing all touchpoints of supply chains, from an elegant digital or customer journey, through fulfillment transport and final mile delivery is the new imperative for long-term success.
“Those who adopt and scale new technology and upskill workforces fastest will have a competitive advantage on the market.”
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