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How digital logistics creates a more collaborative industry

Thea Jacobsen | 29. Oct 2019
4 minutes read

A supply chain is dependent on many different partners. All of these partners use different systems. And none of them are connected to each other. Not even the systems within the same organisation are connected. This makes communication extremely difficult. Which results in a lot of inefficiencies. Not to mention, it makes collaboration across networks very challenging. 

Fast speed, low-costs, and sustainability are the new norms in today’s market. In order for companies to meet the market demands, they need to be open to new technology. Companies with an agile supply chain that embraces the changes happening in the market, and acknowledge the need for a more collaborative industry, are the ones who will continue to stay competitive. 

Real-time visibility = real control 

The first step towards achieving a collaborative industry is to embrace the digital transformation happening in logistics. Digital logistics brings an enormous amount of benefits to both you and your customers. It also makes daily operations easier for everyone. With digital logistics, you can connect to all the different systems both you and partners use. It all of a sudden becomes effortless to communicate information and to synchronize activities. Most importantly, it provides real-time visibility and control over the supply chain. Bringing all the available data from different systems together makes it easy to see the big picture. Then, you will be more equipped to handle unexpected events and identify gaps in your supply chain. The results are more dynamic collaboration and increased customer satisfaction. 

 

a-person-delivering-packages

 

Consolidation of goods

These digital capabilities open up the possibility of more consolidation of goods. With all the data we now have available, we know where the goods came from and where it's going.  Consolidating goods is something we should pay more attention to in order to meet the climate goals set for 2050. Fill rates on trucks in Europe are low. According to Professor Alan McKinnon, 22% of trucks in Europe are empty and the rest are only filled 50% on average. In Latin-America, as much as 30-50% of the trucks are empty. This results in more pollution and more traffic than necessary and is a complete waste of available freight capacity. Even when we get electrical trucks and bio-fuels, this problem will not disappear because it will still be the exact same amount of trucks driving around on the road. We will still have traffic jams and empty trucks. Bundling goods are a great opportunity to do something about this issue. But in order to increase the fill rates and consolidate goods, we need to collaborate together.

There is no doubt that within logistics, companies need to focus on “digital fitness” and collaboration if they want to meet the rapid changes in market expectations. In the future, this will be a pre-requisite for success. 

 

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