The Physical Internet. Customised manufacturing. Crowd-sharing. Like most other industries, logistics is currently facing immense disruption. New technology, new market entrants, new customer expectations and new business models are forcing logistics companies to adapt or die. For those that can develop effective strategies to meet these challenges, the opportunities are well-worth the risks that come with change – including new career choices for professionals who are fluent in the future language of logistics.
Although with the changes, Supply Chain Asia highlighted Asia Pacific is the epicentre of logistics transformation. According to CBRE Research predicts that Asia Pacific e-commerce sales will increase at a compound rate of 23.4 per cent between 2018 and 2022, rising from $14.1 trillion HKD to $32.7 trillion HKD. With that exponential growth, comes logistics footprint expansion. The research has found that every $7.8 billion HKD in e-commerce sales translates into 1.25m sq. ft. of additional distribution-space demand in the US. Some argue that the level of demand for logistics demand could be even higher in Asia Pacific.
The importance of the logistics industry to the global economy cannot be overstated. By 2023, the market will grow to $155.8 trillion HKD, with an estimated 54.5 billion tonnes of goods being moved annually. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese, shift manufacturing and spur logistics markets. Spanning more than 70 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, the BRI has directed significant investment into ports, railways, highways, power plants and economic zones to the benefit of destination markets and Chinese contractors.
While the initial investment is focused on infrastructure, the initiative is likely to help encourage the movement of low-cost manufacturing towards parts of South-East Asia and Africa, while new transport corridors will provide significant opportunities in the logistics sector as supply chains are upgraded.
Industry experts view the logistics share of GDP as a measure of the efficiency of transportation and distribution networks, and 2018’s figure was sharply up from a 7.5% share in 2017.
As the global economy has expanded following a slowdown at the start of the decade, logistics has become increasingly more important. The need to meet logistics capabilities is more urgent than ever, and the industry is facing manpower challenges to meet its ever-rising demands.