The sentient machines and bionics will take more than five years before they begin to emerge and will have a “medium” impact on the logistics industry, the report said. All told, DHL identified 26 total technology advancements, ranging from low-impact “digital identifiers” and “smart labels” to increase transparency emerging in more than five years to high-impact game-changers, such as big data analysis, cloud logistics and “the internet of things,” which are already emerging and will be ubiquitous in less than five years.
“Predicting trends is notoriously challenging,” said Markus Kückelhaus, vice president of innovation and trend research at DHL. “It is difficult to know ahead of time which trends will have long-term effect on businesses and which ones are simply parts of a short-lived hype.”
The report, created by DHL Trend Research, looks at ongoing transformations in “macro trends,” such as the changing energy and trade landscape, as well as “micro trends,” including the “unbundling” of the industry via new, online logistics start-ups.
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