Smart, connected supply chains are the future of freight

New report from Deloitte expects supply chains to become more data-centric with connectivity allowing mor automation and accurate forecasting

In an environment of growing e-commerce, shifting trade patterns and infrastructure constraints, Deloitte has identified three trends they believe will underpin the next-generation supply chain: Connected community, holistic decision-making and intelligent automation.

Paving the way for an innovative tomorrow
The logistics industry is approaching an inflection point, according to Deloitte’s new report. As the global population continues to swell, urbanize, gain purchasing power and shift to e-commerce all at the same time, companies need to create a solid foundation focused on an end-to-end supply chain through acquisitions, partners and organic innovation to move more goods more efficiently says the consultancy.

The competitive advantages redefining the global supply chain increasingly centre 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 harmonise traditional and new data to continuously learn, optimize and predict.
  • Intelligent automation: The ability to utilise the right human or machine for the task at hand and automate digital processes.

"Over time, a global population of consumers demanding greater delivery volume, speed, flexibility, transparency and convenience will force players to adapt,” said Michael Daher, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and US transportation practice leader. 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."

Marking the transition and significant disruption within the last-mile of delivery is the start-up environment. 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. 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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