Great piece in the Economist on how global logistics are being transformed thanks to digital, and, for the last mile, the 'GiG economy'.
Most exciting is the prospect of reducing working capital through the broader supply chain and lower costs of distribution. Better matching demand and supply will allow orders to be fulfilled from the broader inventory pool rather than placed for new build. Plus, capacity in the logistics infrastructure can be more fully utilised, reducing movements and costs, by filling up what would otherwise be empty space.
Data ownership (and the regulator's view of that) will be key, but so too the skills and tools able to fuse different information sources to target specific actions that deliver better service and higher margins.
Now apps have appeared to match loads with drivers, just as the Uber app pairs passengers and drivers. Indeed Uber Freight is one of the contenders. Cargomatic, a startup based in Los Angeles, and Trucker Path, a rival in Texas that was bought by a Chinese firm in December, are competing with it for the freight business, while Amazon is testing “Amazon Flex” as a way of getting gig-economy drivers to make deliveries.