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Technology, Automation and the Future of Transport – Thriving in an Age of Disruption

Catherine Larkin

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We are living in a VUCA world – a place that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. The new waves of change are rapid and innovation is faster than ever. The new waves present both opportunities and threats and can be both creative or destructive. This is one of the key messages presented by author and business transformation expert Sean Culey during a recent webinar hosted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

During the session Culey said that the changes were circular that these Waves of Creative Destruction were getting stronger and faster and had greater impact.

“We are living in the Sixth Wave – this is a time of power battles and paradigm shifts,” said Culey. Some of the fundamental paradigm shifts in the supply chain were that we had moved from:

ThenNow
Company in control  Consumer now in control
Single channelOmni-channel
Consumer travels to retailerRetailer delivers to consumer
Linear push supply chainsCyclical pull value chains
ProductsServices and experiences
OwnershipAccess

“The problem of this for supply chains is that this creates far more complexity,” said Culey. “This new business model increases the complexity exponentially. In the past it was a push supply chain: we now have consumer-centric networks.”

In the Sixth Wave, retailer deliver wherever the consumer wants. The supply chain is no longer about bulk delivery to a store, but rather about many deliveries of smaller units. Returns/reverse logistics has soared: According to Gartner, two thirds of e-commerce customers check their returns policy before making a buying decision and 30% of e-commerce sales are returned.

Retail Apocalypse

As a result of this, the Retail Apocalypse is accelerating: researchers estimate that up to 25 000 retail stores could close in 2020. Fashion store Zara has closed up to 1 200 fashion stores around the world. More than 13 200 stores had closed in 2020 so far.

The Consumer Experience

“New retail malls have to offer more than just shopping,” continued Culey. “They need to focus on building consumer experiences and creating the ‘wow’ factor. People don’t go to a mall anymore just to buy things!”

Opportunities

This massive shift has created opportunities – Culey highlighted just a few:

  • Personalisation (differentiated consumer offerings, increased focus on experiences and convenience, combined experiences – eating, entertainment, shopping, personal experiences and offers
  • Automation – fully automated warehouses in urban locations
  • Localisation
  • Sustainability – servitisation – space as a service, sharing business models – shared occupancy/flexible space, green buildings with renewable power sources, eco-parks/smart cities

Culey warned that the disruption had only just begun and would have a massive impact. But along with this came opportunities.

“Successful digital transformation is not actually about technology,” he concluded. “It’s about transforming the mindset, culture and strategy of the organisation. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of technology only makes sense when it is applied to a compelling ‘why’”.

Freight Forwarding

Trucking the Freight Industry

Bernita Marais

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Trucks with valuable freight travel South Africa as well and neighbouring countries continuously. Across South Africa truck hijackings and cargo theft is being reported on the daily – as much as 90% of these hijackings involve an inside source tipping off criminals with crucial information.

Over the last decade, the freight industry reported 11,112 truck heists, an average of 1,110 within a year. The top commodities being stolen during 2018/19 included soybeans, diesel, yellow maize, and biscuits –  costing the economy R10 billion a year.

Trucks carrying alcohol also see a large number of hijackings and attacks, especially over the Easter and festive months when sales spike and prices rise. The truck robberies have become more violent with many criminals presenting themselves as police or traffic officers bringing vehicles to a standstill, and once criminals have stopped a truck it is at their mercy. Small arms and high calibre weapons are being used by these criminals – making these syndicates “sophisticated” and able to strike with an unprecedented level of precision and force.

Apart from the freight on board, criminals also target trucks to strip the parts. The freight industry incurs major financial losses on top of COVID-19 and drivers become reluctant to drive unsafe routes or times.

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Freight Forwarding

EU Trade Portal Receives More Than 450 Applications in Its First Week – Here comes Brexit

SCN Africa

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Since its launch last week EU Trade Portal have received in excess of 450 member applications; all UK exports will soon have to abide by full customs procedures and many controlled goods will need to have additional licenses or followa dditional procedures.

“Leaving the customs union means that instantly it is more difficult for goods to travel. Those with complex supply chains will be hardest hit,” says Chris Slowey of Manfreight N.I., one of the largest freight companies in the UK, “I watch the EU/UK negotiations appalled, preparing avalanches of paperwork post Brexit.”  Chris Slowey thinks few companies are ready for the Brexit paperwork and procedure shock.

Chris’s quotes highlight the urgent need for a clear concise approach to the problem of Brexit for businesses. The EU Trade Portal provides a transparent and automated environment for cross-border customs procedures and practices, documentation requirements, freight and transit operations, trade, and transport arrangements.

The EU Trade Portal was established to help all businesses to complete the customs documentation and necessary registrations to be Brexit ready.

Read the complete article https://www.pr.com/press-release/822215

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Freight Forwarding

CILT to Host Series of COVID-19 Best Practice Webinars

Catherine Larkin

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As part of its commitment to lifelong learning and sharing best practice, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has a series of webinars organised around the globe on COVID-19 best practice. Here are just two of them:

  • ‘Entrepreneurship: Before and After the Pandemic’:  CILT Ghana’s NextGeneration (NG) interest group will host this session on Wednesday 30th September.  NG Deputy Global Chairperson Usman Shuaibu will open the session and share plans for Next Generation over the coming year. The programme line-up includes:

 

§  Empowering Road Freight Transport Operators to Respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic: Update

Since the initial webinar on empowering road freight operators, Transaid has been working at border crossings and rest stops to sanitise truck drivers and ensure they are equipped to deal with the challenges of Covid-19. Transaid now want to share what they have found from speaking to truck drivers from all over East Africa. The webinar is scheduled for 11.00am (BST), 1:00pm (EAT) on Tuesday 6th October 2020.


The speaker line-up includes Transaid’s Project Manager, Jason Finch; Safe Way Right Way’s Programmes Co-ordinator, Susan Tumuhairwe; and from Transaid’s project partners the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union and the Uganda Professional Drivers Network.

Founded by Save the Children, the CILT, and its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, the international development organisation shares 25 years’ worth of expertise in 23 countries with partners and governments – empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their own lives.


Members can register by following this link: https://mailchi.mp/transaid/covid-project-update

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