Three Urgent Issues For Logistics Leaders At WEF

The World Economic Forum (WEF) took place in Davos last week. For logistics, leaders across the industry have assembled to address the prevention and management of future disruption, plans for accelerating tech adoption, and sustainability.

Collaborative Effort

According to WEF, a main focus for this discussion with supply chain and transport leaders is a need to work communally and develop “pre-competitive collective action.” So, through sharing data and more open lines of communication, the effects of further industry disruption can be minimized.

Last month, FreightCaviar reported on efforts between Convoy, J.B. Hunt, and Uber Freight to standardize processes by forming the Scheduling Standards Consortium. It seems they aligned with the goals of WEF for collaboration across the industry.

Jett McCandless, CEO of project44, posted to LinkedIn about his experience at WEF. He pointed out that “without government direction, standards, accounting & booking, etc., it is difficult for the private sector to make capital investments.”

Kühne Logistics University writes, “Shared intelligence is increasingly viewed as an enabler of resilience and trusted trade…Breaking down many of the information silos that exist across supply chains will also require a change in corporate culture, however.”

Logistics and Digitization

The next major focus continues to be technological advancement in the logistics sector. As a result, there were panels on many tech-related topics. Key focuses were the use of data and the digitization of physical products.

  • Blockchain
  • Digital twinning
  • Augmented Reality devices
  • AV trucks
  • Battery- and hydrogen-fuel-cell trucks
  • 3D printing
  • Robots in item-level picking

Paul Augustine, the Head of Sustainability at Lyft, predicted, “2023 will be a year of massive growth in vehicle electrification as the groundwork laid in 2022 — historic public policies and ambitious private sector investments — take hold and bear fruit.”

Logistics and Sustainability

Connected to the topic of technology is the idea of sustainability and the decarbonization of the supply chain. Further advancements and acceleration of tech will support emissions reduction goals.

Also a big push comes from a change in consumer mindset. Volvo Group tweeted, “Our clients are asking for this. We need to give off the right market signals to create demand.”

Barbara Humpton, President and CEO of Siemens Corp., said “We’re at a moment where we have the technology we need to decarbonize industry and infrastructure. The question is, how can we deploy it faster and at scale? From the building of a national EV charging infrastructure network to the transformation of rail, to the reinvention of American manufacturing, I think we’re going to see the answer to this question really take shape in 2023.”