Logistics industry shows high potential for digitalization

Logistics industry shows high potential for digitalization

Companies see great opportunities through the digital transformation in logistics, but many are still at the beginning of implementation. […]

The digital transformation in logistics is still at the very beginning for the majority of companies in Europe. Only a third (33%) have so far started implementing a corresponding strategy. This was the result of a survey of 1,700 business decision-makers in ten European countries, which was conducted by the market research institute YouGov on behalf of the Handelsblatt Research Institute and TeamViewer.

On the other hand, the surveyed corporate decision-makers in Europe draw a differentiated picture of which future technologies and digital megatrends will significantly shape logistics in the future. For example, a large majority expects that cloud services (71%), the Internet of Things (IoT) (63%) and big data (58%) will generally play a greater role in logistics in the future. Many of the respondents also see potential for virtual, augmented and mixed reality (46%) as well as wearables such as smart glasses (43%) for use in the industry.

When asked which advantages can be expected from the use of digital technologies in the field of logistics, increased efficiency (83%), improvement of quality or service level (82%), cost reductions (82%), more flexibility (80%) and a higher security of supply (80%) occupy the top places among the participants. Around three quarters also expected higher employee satisfaction (78%) and more environmental sustainability (75%).

Focus on smart logistics with IoT and AR

The study also pays special attention to the use of IoT and augmented reality (AR) solutions in logistics. According to this, a majority of the decision-makers surveyed see potential applications for solutions based on IoT (70%) and AR (62%) within their own company.

47% of the respondents see the tracking of inventories as a possible area of application for IoT in company-internal logistics, as well as for automated ordering processes in a warehouse management system (44%) and the tracking of vehicles or goods (41%). The applications for autonomous vehicles (23%) and robots (22%) are the last ones.

For the use of AR in logistics, the respondents see above all potential in the training and integration of workers (35%), in the improvement of picking quality (34%) and efficiency (31%) as well as in completeness checks (32%). 30% of the decision-makers surveyed also see AR-supported application possibilities for remote support with location-independent expert help.

Challenges lie above all in the field of technology

The study also deals with the hurdles in the digital transformation in logistics. Accordingly, around a third of the respondents (34%) cited a high time and cost expenditure for the implementation of the necessary technologies as the reason, 30% cited IT security concerns. And for about a quarter of each, the challenges consist of existing legacy systems in IT (26%) and human resources (24%). On the other hand, neither the lack of priority in management (16%) nor the lack of acceptance among employees (16%) are perceived as major hurdles in the digital transformation in logistics.

Jan Junker, Executive Vice President of Solution Delivery at TeamViewer: “The study shows that a large number of company decision-makers have already given very differentiated thoughts on how to make their logistics fit for the digital future. On the other hand, there is plenty of room for improvement in the implementation. For many of our customers, we can currently observe that the intelligent interaction of augmented reality and the Internet of Things in particular offers enormous potential for more efficient logistics.“

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