The global logistics industry is experiencing massive change. Disruptors are looking to fast forward the traditional industry into the 21st century. New technology tools including automation, mobile and cloud computing are on the rise. Competition is increasing as large multinational companies and manufacturers move beyond managing everything in house. They are now investing in their own global transport capability.
Richard Overton, CEO of X2 Group recently shared his thoughts on the changing landscape for today’s freight forwarders. X2 Logistics Network has over 500-members in more than 155 locations around the world. Overton shared three powerful trends that companies should track in order to grow their revenue in 2016 and beyond.
- Increase in companies like Amazon taking over part or even total supply chain services. This is beyond Distribution Center deliveries to retail stores. These companies are now investing in their own global transport capability. This means their own planes, vessels and they will increasingly become carriers and control everything. We’re talking about the whole global supply chain where they will even sell space and services outside of Amazon’s existing domain.
- Drone deliveries will become a thing of the future. Even today in London you have delivery robots which will bring your fruit and veg straight to your door. Starship Technologies has built a small six-wheeled delivery robot or ‘ground drone’ (developed by the co-founders of Skype) which can travel at 4mph for up to 30 minutes and can deliver the equivalent of three bags of shopping.
- Online Expedia style quoting on non out of gauge (or standard) shipments will be a thing of the future. Just click, type in your origin and destination, the weight and size and get the fastest and cheapest price. Automated pricing is slashing the time it takes to receive a quote. Companies who have more automation and more online services will be the ones that survive and grow.
“This is the future,” said Richard. And for today freight forwarders have to be focused on added value services and specialty niche service offerings. AOG and any specialty requiring a brain will be customer-centric based revenue drivers. These are things that automation can’t replace with a simple quote and so they cannot be replaced easily by technology.