By Glenn Jones, Global Vice President of Product Strategy
This past week Dipti Gupta, our AVP of Solutions, and I headed to JOC’s 2019 Logistic Technology Conference. This is an annual conference that brings together shippers, the service providers who serve them, and other supply chain stakeholders to discuss the impact of technology in their industry. It was as an opportunity for me to hear about some of the greatest challenges facing members of the freight industry and reflect about where the industry is heading.
One major discussion at LogTech was the future of visibility in the supply chain, and I had the opportunity to participate in a panel with other industry experts on that very topic. Traditionally, people primarily referred to track and trace when discussing visibility, but the question we sought to address was whether visibility has matured past these technologies.
In the world of Amazon and one-day shipping, it is no longer enough to simply pay for software that will gather data for you. Visibility may be a commodity, but what you’re paying for is what companies actually do with that data. With our platform at Blume Global, we’re taking the essential building blocks and turning them into something more meaningful to the customer.
Some other trends I noticed from attending LogTech 19, include:
- Growing number of freight forwarders: I was surprised by the sheer number of freight forwarders there are, with companies like Uber recently investing more into the industry.
- Rise in logistics startups from the Silicon Valley: There are several startups seeking to enter the logistics business, seeming to signal a move in the valley towards the supply chain industry.
- High investment in the spot market: Currently, there is a move away from traditional contract rates towards more flexible spot rates to keep up with the competitive market.
- Standardization of data: Second to visibility, standardization was another big topic of the conference. There were many discussions around whether it was worth standardizing how you access data, especially ocean data which has proved difficult to accurately capture.
Upon leaving LogTech 19, I look forward to the continued conversations and potential partnerships from the connections made there.