The arrival of online markets like Amazon and Skyscanner for consumers and SAP Ariba and Alibaba for enterprises – have revolutionised our lives. Mobile applications and websites have extended our buying power exponentially and inspired new business models.
As yet, the logistics sector, the backbone of the economy globally, remains unorganised and, to a great extent, offline. The industry is huge – estimated by the World Bank to account for an average of 13% of GDP across the world – and the potential for digitisation is untapped.
Moving logistics online would make the lives of importers, exporters, shipping lines, vehicle (such as trucks) owners and rail, and ultimately the world’s consumers easier and more efficient.
However, digitalisation is about more than installing a faster computer or putting up a website.
It means rethinking fundamentals about how your business works, the customers you can reach, and how they can find you.
New technologies are turning up almost every day, and they make digitisation inevitable for every business. There will be many benefits, including:
- Digital technology puts data at the heart of the business, improving decision-making.
- Sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) devices expand the sources of data and provide new business intelligence.
- Data analysis shows companies how they can reduce operating costs, find efficiencies and identify unmet demand for new services.
- Cross-border platforms put logistics companies in touch with a multitude of potential partners throughout the value chain. Their ecosystems expand.
- Real-time information opens the door to shared capabilities such as transport and warehousing, which leads to increases asset utilisation.
- Cloud computing gives even micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) companies access to unlimited computing power without capital expenditure.
- Autonomous trucks and drones and robotics technology increase delivery capabilities and make shipping more efficient.
Thinking about digitalisation is essential for businesses of every size; if you haven’t started, it’s time to begin. Cogoport’s marketplace sets out to provide simple steps anyone in the logistics chain can take to develop better ways of working by making planning, booking, managing and communications easier. We’re trying to deliver the benefits without much of the pain.