Digitalisation of the logistics chain

Cutting-edge technology, including AI and robotics, are increasingly applied to logistics operations, a new report on the digitalisation of logistics in the Amsterdam Area has found. 

Sensors and scanning technologies to track, detect and inspect shipments worldwide, robot technology for packing and moving goods in warehouses, clean technology for transportation and entirely new transport concepts, for example drones, are some of the ways logistics companies are embracing future solutions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also contributed to more efficient operations, from cost savings due to reduced operational duplication and risk mitigation, to improved supply chain forecasting and fast deliveries via optimised routes, to improved customer service. Plus, the optimisation of logistics flows is also becoming increasingly important in terms of sustainability.

The report also identified two key trends in digitalisation:

  • Companies in logistics, usually large and established ones, develop their own platforms in-house or with specialised IT service providers and software developers, or use their own modified versions of existing platforms. Companies in Amsterdam include DSV, which has a pharma warehouse at Schiphol, CTi, and DHL, which has a sorting centre in Amsterdam Westpoort.
  • External innovators (‘disruptors’) – often from the tech sector, business services or the hightech world – are entering the realm of logistics with new platforms and data sharing and visualisation systems. They stand out because their systems are often highly customer-oriented (for the shipper), user-friendly and easy to integrate and connect. Examples in Amsterdam include Quicargo, Project44, FourKites, Flexport and Sennder.

The Amsterdam Area’s strengths in logistics 

The report, commissioned by Amsterdam Airport Area, shows companies in the Amsterdam Area are well equipped to embrace digitalisation as well as invest in future solutions. The region’s strategic location, large talent pool, culture of collaboration and excellent physical and digital infrastructure make it an ideal place to set up and grow a logistics company fit for the future. In 2020, the Netherlands topped DHL’s Global Connectedness Index, and earlier this year, Amsterdam was named one of the world’s tech cities of the future

View the full report (PDF).

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