Accenture: digital transformation of freight and logistics
Industry 4.0 - one of the biggest disruptors to traditional freight and logistics, is transforming the way in which the industry continues to do business.
In a recent research study, Accenture highlights the importance of traditional freight and logistics companies joining new digital entrants on their disruptive journey, or face becoming irrelevant.
“If they persist with ‘business as usual’, traditional players can expect to lose both competitiveness and value. If, however, they harness the power of digital technologies and build new, digital business models, they could significantly enhance their competitiveness, boosting earnings before interest and taxes (EBITDA) by approximately 13% annually.”
As disruptors continue to impact the industry by increasing customer centric services, Accenture details eight key technologies that are particularly disruptive to the industry at various stages of maturity.
Organisations looking to improve shipment visibility and increase trust within the sale and movement of international cargo, blockchain technology provides secure data distribution and validation technology to achieve this.
Augmented reality - Accenture predicts this technology to revolutionise the picking, packing and commissioning processes in warehouses and cross docking areas, to provide a competitive advantage.
Accenture predicts that robotics process automation (RPA) will increase automation levels to almost 100% in the transport planning and customer invoicing processes.
Eliminating dependency on the human factor, autonomous logistics will revolutionise the distribution of goods from A to B.
Digital platforms are predicted to change the revenue mix, enabling clarity along the supply chain to drive optimisation of other business areas.
Big Data analytics
Big Data analytics provides an entire ecosystem of information that will enable 3PLs to drive greater efficiencies within organisations, increasing efficient use of assets.
SaaS core solutions
Many traditional organisations within the industry have bespoke legacy applications at their core. To drive operational agility within business operations standardised and easy to deploy solutions are replacing the traditional solutions.
3D printing within logistics and freight is predicted to boost decentralisation of finished goods production. Which as a result will change today’s transport volume and allow integration of additional value chain activities. As a result the product portfolio will extend.
For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.