Digital transformation: How digital is the logistics field?

Transport robots in the warehouse, automatic route planning, blockchain technology for waybills, AI-based systems for simulating delivery networks. Digitalization is transforming all areas of logistics. Are other industries just as strongly engaged in a digital transformation? How digital is the logistics industry compared to other industries? The Digitalization Index for SMEs 2019/2020, carried out by Techconsult on behalf of Telekom, provides current information on this. It not only compares the large sectors of industry, trade, logistics and construction with each other, but also shows how the size of the company is directly related to the degree of digitalization.

Logistics at the forefront in the digitalization index

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The good news: The transport & logistics sector, which was once viewed as rather backward, is among the pioneers within the German economy in terms of digitalization. Ahead of it are only the banking & insurance sectors, along with information & communication and energy & water supply. This is not surprising, however, as these services are much easier to digitize and, particularly in banking, a comprehensive wave of digitalization began at least a decade earlier.

In fourth place, with 61 out of 100 points, comes the traffic, transport and logistics industry – and with that ranks ahead of German industry! This is astonishing, since logistics was based on the Industry 4.0 digitalization concept, thus taking industrial digitalization as a model.

Digitalization pays off for companies, employees and customers

A clear connection can also be seen between company size and degree of digitalization. This is because large logistics companies can afford their own IT departments and also because the digitalization of entire processes is very capital-intensive. This is especially true when not only the handling of numbers and data needs to be digitized, as is the case with banks, insurance companies or the information industry. In logistics, in addition to digital tracking and calculation of flows of goods, physical processes also have to be automated – similar to those in industry. The robotics and sensors used for this require large investment volumes that small logistics companies cannot so easily afford.

There is therefore a very clear difference in the degree of digitalization between small and medium-sized companies and large players in logistics. So the ten percent most digitalized logistics companies score 86 out of 100 points in the digitalization index – well above the industry average of 61 points. And this very high degree of digitalization pays off particularly well for these companies: The study also shows that the degree of digitalization correlates directly with satisfaction with sales, new customer acquisition or with the speed of reaction to customer inquiries.

“#Digitalization is paying off, as the current #digitalization index for the #logistics and #transport industry shows“

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And what is perhaps even more important in times of a shortage of skilled workers: the degree of digitalization also leads to higher employee satisfaction. With its numerous innovations in the area of digitalization, DB Schenker therefore appears to be on the right track.