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Whether Shipping by Planes, Trains or Automobiles, the Future of Freight is Evolving
Af Michel Bloch
Players across the movement of goods ecosystem race to improve throughout — driving investment to help redefine how goods and packages travel from manufacturer to consumer.
- With growing eCommerce, shifting trade patterns and infrastructure constraints, three key pillars will likely underpin the next-generation supply chain — connected community, holistic decision-making and intelligent automation.
- Significant disruption within the last-mile of delivery is growing imminent. Through 2018, global last-mile startups raised $3.9 billion in funding, up from $454 million in 2016. New entrants are looking to capitalize on gaps between rising expectations and current network limitations with a growing array of emerging channels, focusing on crowdsourced delivery, new collection point networks and smart lockers.
- The horizontal partnerships and digital freight platforms connecting larger stretches of the global value chain signal the rise of connected community, an expanding layer of digital connective tissue forming across the highly-fragmented ecosystem.
- Global movers are harnessing a mix of connected transportation, cargo and warehouses to evolve traditional, linear supply chains into dynamic networks capable of holistic decision making.
- Foundations of a touchless supply chain are now visible, as autonomous operations begin or enter pilot phases at every stage of the movement of goods value chain, ushering in an era of intelligent automation and the collaborative power of human and machine in logistics.
Why this matters
Deloitte analyzed strategic innovation among forward-thinking players across the global movement of goods ecosystem. From ocean shipping and ports, to logistics providers, transportation and retailers, it reveals three key pillars that will underpin a next-generation supply chain — connected community, holistic decision-making and intelligent automation. Innovation across these pillars is painting a picture of the future state of global logistics and provides businesses with a framework for looking at the rapidly changing ecosystem.
Over time, a global population of consumers demanding greater delivery volume, speed, flexibility, transparency and convenience will force players to adapt. To get started, organizations should define their future ambitions and where to play in the future movement of goods ecosystem. Guided by a strategic vision, organizations can begin examining how the foundational pillars, connected community, holistic decision-making and intelligent automation, can help them win in chosen segments and markets — and the foundational and emerging capabilities required to enable those pillars.
Paving the way for an innovative tomorrow
The logistics industry is approaching an inflection point. As the global population continues to swell, urbanize, gain purchasing power and shift to e-commerce all at the same time, companies can drive future and ongoing success through the creation of a solid foundation focused on an end-to-end supply chain through acquisitions, partners and organic innovation to move more goods more efficiently.
Despite being at the beginning of the journey, logistics providers, retailers and other large global movers are applying a mix of enabling technologies and innovative business models to drive the efficiency and supply chain orchestration needed to meet tomorrow’s package volume demand and capture market share. The competitive advantages redefining the global supply chain increasingly center on three core pillars:
- Connected community: The ability to collaborate and connect with partners to see across the network.
- Holistic decision-making: The ability to harness and harmonize traditional and new data to continuously learn, optimize and predict.
- Intelligent automation: The ability to utilize the right human or machine for the task at hand and automate digital processes.
Utilizing the pillars of the Future of the Movement of Goods help shippers to evolve into more integrated, intelligent and automated end-to-end networks that can move more goods more quickly to more places, and with more transparency and efficiency than today.
Investment in innovative last-mile start-ups more than doubled
The foundation of a next-generation global movement of goods network is actively forming as companies of all sizes, including start-ups, put a focus on an end-to-end supply chain ecosystem with a critical eye on the last 1,000 feet of direct-to-consumer delivery. From 2017 to 2018, the funding flow of “smart money” from capital investors to support last-mile delivery more than doubled. Plus, the trend of crowd-sourcing to accommodate and strengthen last-mile solutions for delivery of goods accounted for 72%, outpacing collection point network and lockers, digital aggregators, software and droids and drones.
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