Need for action in digitalization
There is apparently a growing concern among German transport companies that they are losing out when it comes to digitalization. This is the key finding of the study “The networked truck” conducted by the Infas social research institute on behalf of Continental.
Results of the study as a trend indicator
With this study, Continental is examining the trends and developments in the transport industry for the second time since 2016. For this purpose, companies in the German logistics and transport industry were surveyed on topics such as digitalization, automation, vehicle technologies, and the general conditions in the industry. The Infas research institute addressed the first and second management levels. A total of 45 companies took part in the study between February and May 2020. According to Continental, the results can be taken as an indication of trends.
Changes in the industry due to digitalization
A large proportion of the logistics professionals surveyed mentioned that digitalization had already changed the industry significantly. According to Continental, the proportion of those giving this answer has increased compared with 2016.
The study participants are concerned about losing the connection, although some of the logisticians have a positive perception of the opportunities presented by digitalization. This concern has increased slightly compared with the 2016 study.
Commenting on the changes in the industry, Gilles Mabire, Head of Commercial Vehicles and Services (CVS) at Continental, said: “The transportation industry is in the midst of a major transformation process. Stakeholders are observing that digitalization has continued to accelerate in recent years and now see a need for action to ensure that they are well positioned for the future.”
Increasing importance of environmental protection
According to the study, environmental protection has become significantly more important in the transportation industry. In this regard, Continental indicates that, compared with the previous survey in 2016, environmental protection currently has the greatest increase in importance among the future challenges queried.
New competitors as a challenge
As a further result, the study shows that the logistics companies interviewed consider new participants in the transport industry to be a future challenge. Gilles Mabire explains: “Large shippers and online retailers, who were previously customers of the transport companies themselves, are now building up their own logistics infrastructure. As a result, logistics companies are not only losing existing customers, but new players are entering the market.”
In the top two places of future challenges, unchanged from 2016, among the logistics companies surveyed are rising cost pressure and competition for well-trained drivers. Almost unanimously, they expect conditions to tighten even further here.