Digitization can now be found everywhere and is spreading like wildfire.
I am therefore now writing a whole series of articles on the subject of digitization. My motivation behind this is that digitization means something different for every industry and type of company and I want to work out these differences. An illustration of the differences in different industries can be found in the following figure.

In this section I would now like to go into the actual core of this article and illustrate digitization in the logistics industry.

Industry characteristics

For a long time, the main task of logistics was the storage, transport and handling of goods. However, due to globalization, this industry has changed increasingly. Their range of services now also includes monitoring and control, i.e. the management of entire supply chains. With this change came demands for more flexible and automated processes, which is why the logistics industry invests early on in agile methods and digitization in the form of various technologies, such as tracking systems or fully automated inventory monitoring. But cloud computing and big data have also become increasingly important for the logistics industry.

The current digitization in the logistics industry

While the handling and transport of goods in the logistics industry operated behind closed doors for many years, digitization has long since reached the field of logistics. Everything is already under the sign of Logistics 4.0. This will make use of technological aids to promote the networking of products, people, machines and their data with one another. Tracking systems for parcels or deliveries of goods, fully automated processes such as online and real-time inventory monitoring have long been part of everyday life in the logistics industry. This step in a digital transformation has already resulted in more transparency in logistical processes between suppliers and their shipping chains. But also in the area of intralogistics, the trend is already towards full autonomy of goods, so that they can soon organize and control their transport themselves thanks to intelligent systems.

In the future, too, helping to shape digitization and promoting agility through cross-process and cross-company coordination in transport and supply will play an important role.

Advantages of digitization in the logistics industry

In the logistics industry, it is hoped that the increased use of digitization will result in even greater automation of processes. But also an acceleration in the area of resource use and material flow. As a result, this should lead to even more flexibility in business models, processes and cross-company cooperation and relationships. At the same time, this alludes to the main goal of Logistics 4.0. The application of agile methods and technological systems promises optimized networking, the decentralization of entire systems and even greater service orientation based on real-time analyzes. For the future, for example, a purely web-based processing of orders is planned, as is planned with the help of digital waybills.

Tip:

If you are as excited about this topic as I am, then you can find the entire article series here !

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Gendernote: I have used the masculine form for ease of reading. Therefore, unless an explicit distinction is made, it always refers to women, diverse as well as men, and people of all origins and nations. Read more

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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