The maritime transport industry is undergoing a profound transformation, adopting new technologies to face the future and the changes that come with it. According to the twenty first 2017 Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, by French global strategy and transformation consulting firm Capgemini Consulting, the logistics service area is looking for competitive advantages through 3PL and 4PL.
The report’s results are based on surveyed shippers who identified the new roles these services are willing to implement, such as meaningful involvement of 3PLs in processes relating to supply chain transformation, technology and execution/implementation of transformation initiatives.
The information is later analyzed thanks to Big Data systems, adding new variables in the services value chain. Experience, added to shippers’ new needs is the key component for paving the road to the future. “Going forward, in addition to the operational expertise and experience that 3PLs contribute to the overall improvement process, there will likely be greater importance on the role meaningful analytics and data play in transformation initiatives. Transformation and continuous improvement will be a priority as shippers look for new and innovative ideas to reduce costs, enhance service and improve the management of complex supply chains,” reads the study.
Big Data for everyone
In this year’s survey, almost all 3PLs -98%- said improved, data-driven decision-making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes, and 93% of shippers agreed. Also, more tan 80% of both groups said the effective use of Big Data, will become a core competency of their supply chain organizations.
Logistics providers are getting more operational and tactical with how they use their insight into the supply chain and are creating value by optimizing networks and processes. Among 3PLs, 71% said the greatest value data provides is in improving process quality and performance, 70% said improving logistics optimization, and 53% said improving integration across the supply chain, according to the survey.
Shippers are increasingly interested in data, which could create a competitive advantage for logistics providers that have invested in technology and expertise to gather and analyze information. Shippers were asked to list the attributes they find the most important regarding big data: 60% ranked improving integration across the supply chain, 55% said improving data quality, and 52% said improving process quality and performance.
But in order for data to become really valuable, shippers and 3PLs must continue focusing on the importance of precise information, which could turn into a real challenge. It is estimated that 80% of relevant information lacks structure and organizing and classifying it takes time and money.
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