This report describes how sectors of the industry are using information systems to manage their operations, as well as how these solutions are evolving. We hope that by clarifying the context in which many of the established solutions have been used, we can help people understand the opportunities (and disadvantages) presented by some of the solution sets now emerging.
Our primary goal is to try and identify the critical developments and solutions that will be transformational, or at least enable transformational capabilities for their users. We recognize that not every organization can adopt transformational capabilities as fast as they might wish: issues of resources, culture and ongoing contracts are always factors that must be considered. However, we believe that we can act as a reference point for companies looking for some insight and perspective into what may seem to be a bewildering mix of nomenclature and choice.
Exclusive highlights on technologies and the future of e-commerce
- Companies operating in the e-commerce industry are constantly looking for better ways to exploit technology to their advantage, and logistics providers are no different.
- Delivery flexibility is a vital enabler for e-retailers aiming to keep up with changing consumer demands, which also vary between countries and regions: The last-mile will be increasingly influenced by AI.
- The success of the global integrators in cross-border express movements will depend upon their information management, which is crucial for inventory visibility.
Exclusive highlights on LSPs and disruptive technologies:
- Freight forwarders are perceived as low tech and unresponsive by shippers. The advent of cloud-based instant quotation and booking systems has led some to question the utility of traditional freight forwarders.
- “There are two ways logistics companies can attain scale: Through acquisitions or with technology.”
- With the manipulation of the supply chain’s entire information flow, the control tower can maintain security, optimise efficiency and ensure the process runs smoothly. By applying this model to their operations, LSPs could ensure that they remain relevant.
This report contains:
- Insight into the critical technological developments and solutions that will shape the future of the logistics industry.
- Descriptions of how sectors of the logistics industry are using information systems to manage their operations, as well as how these solutions are evolving.
- Demonstrations of how emerging technologies work in practice.
1.0 Introduction to technology trends
1.1 Executive summary by Ken Lyon
1.2 The digital landscape
1.3 Mobile devices
1.4 Cloud services
1.5 Ubiquitous broadband
2.0 Overview and definitions of core technology types
2.1 Technology in the supply chain
2.2 Increasing supply chain complexity
2.2.1 ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
2.3 What is supply chain management software?
2.4 GTM (Global Trade Management Systems)
2.4.1 GTM in practice
2.5 WMS (Warehouse Management Systems)
2.5.1 WMS in practice
2.6 TMS (Transport Management Systems)
2.6.1 TMS in practice
3.0 Moving from functional control to process-control
3.1 Where should technology investment be directed?
3.2 Visibility in the supply chain: The backbone of any Control Tower platform
3.2.1 Case study: Visibility in the supply chain
3.3 Control Towers
3.3.1 What a Control Tower is doing
3.3.2 Control Tower solutions in practice
4.0 LSPs and disruptive technologies
4.1 Technology evolution for logistics service providers
4.2 Technology evolution - moving into a networked industry
4.3 What are the real threats for industry incumbents?
4.4 Why LSPs will adapt and survive
5.0 Technology and the future of e-commerce
5.1 Overview of the development of the e-commerce market
5.2 Technology push
5.2.1 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
22.214.171.124 Delivery flexibility
126.96.36.199 Autonomous vehicles
188.8.131.52 Warehouse automation
5.2.2 3D Printing
5.3 Market pull
5.3.1 Address mapping
5.3.2 Cross-border e-commerce
6.0 Technologies to watch
6.1 AI/Personal assistants
6.2 Connected sensors/ IoT
6.3 Autonomous vehicles/Transportation management
6.5 Social networks for the office
6.6 Virtual reality/Augmented reality
6.7 Ones to watch - Innovators in supply chain software
6.8 Concluding statements
- Monolithic enterprise software applications are ill-suited to a world in which supply chains are becoming increasingly fragmented.
- Cloud computing has enabled companies to dramatically improve visibility across their supply chains, but the main software platforms offering this capability each have their limitations.
- Whilst connectivity and latency issues were once an insurmountable obstacle to cloud computing in certain geographies, infrastructure development is rapidly overcoming the problem.
- Though it is still in its infancy, the development of blockchain technology could prove to be the missing piece in the puzzle of end-to-end visibility.
- For many retailers and manufacturers, fragmented sources of data are the chief barrier to the effective implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI).