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LOGISTIC Trend Index: 54 percent warn Germany against competition from Silicon Valley

Nearly three-fourths of German logistics specialists feel that their branch of industry is generally well prepared for future market changes among in-ternational competitors. However, 64 percent complain that domestic com-panies are not investing enough in research and development. And 54 per-cent warn again the acute risk of losing market shares to competitors from the Silicon Valley community. Those are the results of the 2017 LOGISTIC Trend Index published by the leading international trade fair transport logistic (May 9–12, 2017) in Munich.

92 percent of specialists and executives in the German transport and logistics in-dustry do not want to wait until tried-and-tested solutions for digitalization are available. 87 percent of industry experts see a need for immediate action and feel that their companies should begin digitalizing business models now. But when it comes to actual implementation, many logistics companies still have weaknesses. In fact, the digital transformation has stalled in a number of im-portant application sectors: Not even one out of every four companies is cur-rently looking at ways to use digital technology to network with customers or fol-lowing an overall digital strategy for all company divisions.

"The start-up scene in the United States is working hard to follow the taxi indus-try's lead and get involved in the classic logistics business," says Dr. Robert Schönberger, Exhibition Group Director for transport logistic 2017 in Munich. "For example, that includes web-based apps that can be used to book consign-ments directly with the carrier—without even involving a forwarding agent. As survey results show, the German logistics industry is taking these disruptive de-velopments seriously and wants to put the opportunities associated with digital business models to use for their own market success."

So with an eye on the future, many logistics specialists consider real-time data processing important (67 percent) or wish they had big-data analysis capabilities to help improve route planning (56 percent), for example. However, some 60 percent also point out that introducing new services depends on the right timing. Right now, one of the most important risks when it comes to digitalization pro-jects is a lack of acceptance among customers. Combined with high investment costs and a lack of expertise in companies themselves, these three things are considered the greatest obstacles to digitalization in the transport and logistics industry in Germany.

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