All we see from our interactions with our customers, suppliers and competitors make it abundantly clear: all underlying markets are changing rapidly and comprehensively. B2C and B2B consumer behaviour and the speed of technological developments are transforming traditional go-to-market approaches and logistics operations. The digital transformation poses many challenges for logistics. Even greater are the opportunities and prospects created by the new technologies. These technologies can offer many exciting and game changing opportunities for established logistics companies like Kuehne + Nagel: from driverless vehicles, automated warehousing to drones and autonomous handling equipment, human intervention will be needed less in the physical supply chain process.
Logistics and its stakeholders are increasingly generating and handling large amounts of data. It is now important to further automate the logistics and to adapt to data transport, and not just goods transport. Information is already the basis of all supply chain management processes today. In future, it is to be expected that the use of new technologies, such as Smart Sensors, will redesign these processes and link them even more closely.
The added value of digitalization in logistics systems is to improve the logistics services for customers. Essentially, it is about reducing the complexity of logistics, making global, intermodal supply chains more transparent and efficient with the help of integrated digital technologies, automation of business processes, and new digital products and solutions.
Many years ago, the digital evolution began with standardization, automation and computerization. Kuehne + Nagel, as a frontrunner, created the basis for the digitalization process with modern user interfaces and a digital backbone. First step was taken already by the end of 1990s with KN Login, the monitoring and visibility platform of Kuehne + Nagel. By launching KN FreightNet four years ago, Kuehne + Nagel has become the first logistics company to introduce a fully digitized pricing, booking and tracking platform that provides customers online with a direct, efficient and fast connection to the company’s systems. Today, data processing, connectivity and the use of state-of-the-art software and technology are key elements in the success of digital transformation. The increasing availability of data leads to increasing visibility and is the basis for new services and products to increase productivity. Not only does data need to be collected and analyzed, but it must also be made available and actionable everywhere, anytime, on any device, and transformed into relevant information.