“The transportation and logistics industry is undergoing radical changes.”

What are currently the top trends in the transport and logistics market from your viewpoint?

Thomas Kraus

The transportation and logistics industry is undergoing radical changes. Trends that will continue to concern us in the future are increasing digitalization, automation and urbanization. A key question in our view is how supply chain management can be made more efficient and transparent for all stakeholders within the framework of a global digitalization strategy. For example, by investing in the startup Upply, Geodis has developed a virtual marketplace for all decision-makers along the global value and supply chain. Insights into freight offers for up to 100,000 different transport routes are possible with just a few clicks.

Another issue of the future is how we will design tomorrow's warehouse. Together with experts and startup companies, Geodis is currently working on a “smart warehouse” solution. Using 2D or 3D visualization, information processes and therefore inventories can be optimized based on intelligent, predictive warehouse management. Automation in warehouses using drones is another trend that is continuing to receive attention in our company. For example, Geodis, together with the French manufacturer Deltadrone, has developed a solution for fully automatic inventory management with drones, which went into operation after a two-year development period at the end of 2018.

What expectations do you have for 2019?

Given a growing e-commerce sector, demand for innovative omni-channel concepts will continue to increase in 2019. As urbanization progresses, the pressure on the logistics industry to develop environmentally friendly solutions for the last mile is growing in order to comply with the required legal guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants. We are aware of these expectations and are working together with our customers and partners on new concepts for urban logistics.

Where do you currently see the greatest opportunities/risks for global trade?

Digitalization and automation provide the opportunity to make global information and work processes more efficient and transparent. However, close global networking also increases the risk of these processes becoming more susceptible to disruption as a result of cyber attacks, extreme weather conditions, trade restrictions and geopolitical tensions. But every risk also involves an opportunity. This is the case for a logistics service provider, for example, in that he recognizes the risks at an early stage through good risk management, evaluates and develops them, and successfully implements corresponding measures together with his customer.