The way in which the world does business is changing dramatically and fast, affecting a wide range of spheres, not the least of which is the transport and logistics industry that needs to adapt swiftly to stay in contention.
A very simple example of this change is the switch by consumers to online shopping, necessitating a whole industry revision of warehousing, packaging, labelling and delivery.
The logistics and transport industry is currently on the verge of a digital shakeup, which will dramatically transform it. With the evolution of digitisation, platform-based business models will connect new entrants, eliminate inefficient old ones and harness the cloud.
According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, the rising volume of global trade will increase existing supply chain pressure. The logistics services sector is estimated to reach a value of $16 445-billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 7%.
Digitisation is needed to offer more streamlined end-to-end services, in order to steer the logistics industry into the direction of becoming more resource efficient, faster, and more responsive to customer needs.
The annual FIATA World Congress 2019 will take place in Cape Town from October 1-5, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
The event will bring together the international freight logistics and transport industry, it will be an occasion for industry leaders from across the globe, to gain insights into industry challenges and present sustainable solutions.
FIATA President, Babar Badat says the event will host more than 1 200 industry stakeholders and decisionmakers for discussions on issues in the logistics industry, the developments, the possibilities, new technologies and its influence on the industry.
The meetings will also provide thought provoking ideas as well as opportunities for the sharing of best practices from international industry heavyweights.
“We are hosting this year’s event jointly with our Member, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) and this year’s theme is ‘Where Technology and Logistics Meet.’
The Congress programme will focus on new technology, disruptive innovation and how this affects the logistics and freight forwarding industry worldwide,” Badat adds.
He explains exciting new concepts, such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and big data all give people a closer look at life in the future.
“The rise of technology start-ups is redefining the industry’s business models, pushing traditional practitioners to rethink what they have become used to in the past and what to change in the future.”
More than 90% of experts are convinced digitisation will add value for the international logistics industry, however, Badat says as with everything, digitisation comes with both pros and cons.
“Businesses have to ensure they have wireless networks and digital support infrastructures in place, there is cyber security and data protection. Good examples of this are the recent cases of cyber pirates targeting logistics and transportation companies.”
Badat is confident the existing supply and value chain, along with international logistics service providers, will rise to these challenges, saying: “The logistics industry continues to prepare itself, together with its customers, for digital transformation.
“Some leading enterprises have been testing and commercialising various kinds of autonomous vehicles, driverless robots, blockchain platforms, digital trade documents, and so on.”
He adds small and medium-sized enterprises with limited resources should embrace these changes instead of fearing them and advises they start upgrading their operational systems gradually with new technology, while keeping an eye on advancements in the industry.
According to Badat, participation from Africa has been on the increase in FIATA and the global logistics and freight forwarding industry, which signals positive economic growth and increased international connectivity.
“The annual FIATA World Congresses continue to be platforms which showcases our commitment to update our members on technological developments in the industry and to help prepare them for new changes,” Badat concludes.