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SITL 2019: Bringing Innovation to Logistics

Blog | SITL 2019: Bringing Innovation to Logistics

The Transport and Logistics sector’s most innovative companies and entrepreneurs gathered at SITL 2019 in Paris last March to discuss the future of the industry and the challenges we face. From the advent of robotics, to Artificial Intelligence and dealing with the challenges logistics professionals face, the 3 days trade show brought views from shippers, distributors, transport and IT service providers, trade unions, experts and others. We joined this discussion in partnership with Zebra Technologies, highlighting our solution to the trade show visitors.

This year’s edition of SITL hosted over 30,000 visitors from 80 countries and 530 exhibitors. Around 36% of which are transport and logistics providers, making the trade show the ideal place to meet partners, visit clients and present our delivery management platform to the industry.

What are our main takeaways of SITL 2019?

With 8 different themes represented at SITL 2019 such as freight, cold chain, robotics or maritime connection, it was the innovation within urban logistics that attracted our attention the most. Here are our main takeaways:

1. Going sustainable: Innovation in transport and logistics is bringing serious improvements to the industry’s environmental impact. Now innovation goes hand in hand with sustainability. The industry uses fuel saving, vehicle maintenance indicators and route optimization to decrease its carbon footprint. In effect, they also save money. An upcoming trend led by retail and delivery companies is to “green” their fleet, resorting to a new generation of vehicles, which are often electric. A complementary trend is to automatize last mile delivery optimization using predictive delivery management systems. These systems allow shorter routes, optimized truck space and to reduce the amount of vehicles needed, thus lesser carbon impact.

2. Digital logistics and supply chain: In the digital innovation age, there are still companies and last mile operators that don’t use digital systems or even digitalize their processes. Even today it’s still common for an entire delivery process to be run on excel sheets and paper. It’s assumed that this is the way of the past, and at SITL we saw how innovation can benefit the industry, the business and the client. Faster, leaner and more transparent processes and supply chains seem to be in demand.

3. Delivery drivers support: The age of ‘Uberfication’ and subcontracting puts drivers’ careers at risk, often resulting in recruitment difficulties and high costs of training new staff. The industry now looks to improve driver retention, training and support, both in their careers and in their daily activities – for e.g. resorting to better two-way communication tools, and reducing the stress associated with countless hours on the road. In the end, the drivers are at the heart of the delivery chain, being often the face of your service to the final client.

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4. Increased Urban Regulations: Urban areas are increasingly regulated, particularly with the introduction of Low Emission Zones in an attempt to reduce city congestion and pollution. This often seems incompatible with the growth of e-commerce and fast personalized deliveries, but the industry is adapting and finding new solutions. The solutions go from sustainable approaches, like cycle logistics to centralized ones with package collection lockers.

5. Need for dynamic optimization: Our last takeaway is related to the three previous ones. Last mile delivery operators often struggle with adapting their routes to new unforeseen tasks like mid-way pick-ups, while keeping the operation fine-tuned. There’s also a need for real time support for drivers with truck issues, whose tasks need to be reassigned to make it to their destination on time. This is something URBANTZ helps their customers with on a daily basis. It’s surprising to see how many delivery management systems on the market don't tackle this demanding issue. This often means loss of time, resources and even additional work for the drivers.

The T&L industry has a long way to go in terms of innovation, but at SITL 2019 we saw there is a big appetite to change.

See you at SITL next year!

Do you want to know more about our URBANTZ solution? Check it out here.

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