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Logistics 4.0

Logistics providers are being left in the dust

The logistics industry is lagging behind in terms of digitization. A recent study, for example, shows that only 6% of the 18 largest sea freight companies and freight forwarders offer consistent online booking.

27 Jul. 2018
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Logistics providers are being left in the dust (Chart: McKinsey)

Overall, the online offer of logistics providers is still insufficient, according to the study initiators Google, the Kühne Logistics University and McKinsey. 38% of shipping companies examined fail to provide any prices online. Furthermore, according to the study, many of the major providers still handle a significant portion of the information and booking process offline. New platforms are already exploiting this gap and providing "the whole works": including instant price offers, online booking and online payment, says Maximilian Rothkopf from McKinsey.

The websites of the logistics companies pose another problem: for more than half of the 33 major sea freight companies surveyed, it took more than 13 seconds to download their website onto the smartphone. Research has nevertheless shown that half of online customers are already gone if the downloading process takes longer than 3 seconds. This should give cause for concern, as another of study's findings shows that a quarter of all online searches for logistics services are already being carried out on smartphones.

The logistics industry cannot afford to resist the digital transformation - even apart from the online presence. In 2017, the German Logistics Association published a position paper that provides corporate practice advice. Recommendations include promoting an in-house startup culture, launching pilot projects and being more courageous.