PERSPECTIVES

Transportation & Logistics’ Long-overdue Digital Acceleration

2021-10-28


Brought to their knees by the pandemic, T&L companies are shifting digital into high gear to extend resilience, agility and intelligence throughout the value chain.

The pandemic brought global trade to a halt, impacting transportation and logistics (T&L) more severely than any other industry. But even as many T&L companies faced shutdowns, those that had embraced Logistics 4.0’s digital components found themselves relatively better-placed to endure the disruption. Now, buoyed by an e-commerce surge, T&L companies are racing to adopt digital and new work practices to meet the long-term impacts of the public health crisis on the value chain.

The internet of things (IoT) has emerged as the technology of choice for the sector, which, in combination with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, can enable smoother functioning of extended value chains. However, future-proofing the supply chain also calls for reimagining the human-machine relationship. Skills that require a human touch, such as communication and strategic thinking, will become more important in the coming years.

To understand how T&L are responding to rapid change, the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), working with Oxford Economics, surveyed 4,000 C-level executives globally, including 287 T&L senior executives.