As the road ahead brings favourable circumstances in the age of the consumer, it also brings more expectations than ever before. Today’s digitally empowered consumer expects more frequent deliveries to their businesses and homes. The emphasis is on the word ‘fast’, as they buy online products and expect to have them shipped – right away. Modern shoppers fuel the need for personalization and will pay extra for demands to be met. How to anticipate demands and respond flexibly without compromising on expectations?
This is a challenge growing in scale. According to the World Economic Forum’s report “Connected World: Hyperconnected Travel and Transportation in Action”, our need for efficiency and speed of transportation will increase and will ‘force’ key stakeholders to stimulate new technology development by 2025. “Cities in Europe are growing in economic activity and population, generating more demand for logistics services”, stated Jon Sleeman, Director of EMEA Industrial and Logistics Research, JLL.
Long-term solutions needed
We all understand the complexity of change in such dynamic environments yet the reality tells a different story. The transport industry causes 23% of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions and consequently, 40% of people in urban areas are exposed to traffic noise and air pollution. The growth of the logistics industry is followed by an overutilization of the transport infrastructure. The results are massive traffic jams, accidents and high maintenance costs that can damage the health of our urban population.
While further work is needed to define a long-term direction for future transportation, there are companies navigating the industry’s disruption and building new capabilities, to some extent even disrupting known business models.
European Environment Agency (2016), Transport in Europe: key facts and trends, 06.12.2016, https://www.eea.europa.eu/signals/signals-2016/articles/transport-in-europe-key-facts-trends.
WHO (2017), Data and statistics, WHO Europe, http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/noise/data-and-statistics retrieved 20.07.2017.
World Economic Forum (2016), Digital Transformation of Industries: Logistics Industry, World Economic Forum White Paper January 2016: http://reports.weforum.org/digital-transformation/the-digital-transformation-of-logistics-threat-and-opportunity/