Our daily lives have become increasingly digital since the start of the new millennium.
Who would have thought 20 years ago that email, 4G mobile internet, e-commerce, streaming music and digital products would have replaced much of the “old” technologies by 2019?
And yet that’s exactly what happened. If we look back at the advances in technology and the digitalisation of our societies, it’s fair to say that the world hasn’t seen such dramatic changes in the way we live our daily lives since the industrial revolution of the 19th century.
One could say that the socio-economic impact of our “new” economy is quite similar to the changes that the industrial revolution caused, especially if we look at the impacts on prices and the partial elimination of variable capital like labour.
In the 19th century, the invention of the steam engine introduced mass production, causing many traditional industries to be killed off or automated. Compare this to the internet, which partially killed many of the traditional industries like music, photography, publishing and advertising.
In both cases this caused layoffs and bankruptcies, but also price drops and increased possibilities for everyone as production and distribution of goods (and information) got more efficient and thus cheaper.
So how does all of this relate to the logistics and transport industry?
The logistics industry has introduced digital innovations at a slower pace than many other industries.
It has only been in the last few years that we have seen logistics startups popping up to take advantage of the possibilities of the digital world.
The reasons for this are actually not hard to understand.
For decades, the logistics industry has been dominated by big players who established their positions in the market long before anyone had ever heard of the internet. All of their processes are rooted in a non-digital world and, given the complexity of the industry, it is frankly quite challenging to make any changes to that, without causing massive disruptions.
For example: why would you make paperwork digital if many of your customers are dealing in countries that do not accept that? Why bother introducing automatic customs clearance procedures if none of your partners is willing to invest in it?
For a long time, the credo of the logistics world has been: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
And so the industry moved into the 21st century like a time traveller from times gone by.
Too bad, because there’s lots of opportunity going to waste.
Published on 2019-02-27 at 11:15 by TankContainerFinder.com