Logistics industry stars are innovative and customer-oriented

Innovation helps companies secure their competitive edge

What does it take to become a star of the logistics industry? For answers to these questions, AEB polled industry insiders at this year’s German Logistics Congress, held October 22–24 in Berlin. AEB was on hand to conduct more than 50 interviews on this topic with representatives from the shipping industry, the service sector, and industry associations.

The respondents assigned particular importance to customer orientation – which includes reliable and on-time delivery, for example, as well as transparency and good support. About 45% of responses fell under this category of attributes.

The second most frequently cited category, with more than 42% of responses, was innovation, openness, and future orientation. To be a star in the logistics industry, you need to see the big picture, have vision, be open to change, and act with foresight. Innovation helps companies secure their competitive edge, operate efficiently and sustainably, and benefit from lower costs and time savings. What sounds positive at first does not happen on its own, however. It is the result of a willingness to invest in innovation management and accept uncertainty and risk.

Respondents also felt that supply chain managers need to be flexible, creative, spontaneous, and dynamic. This category of attributes, which can be roughly grouped together under “adaptability,” was named by about 19% of respondents – much less than the top two citations.

Interestingly, the categories of “Sustainability and social responsibility” and “Dedicated workforce” did not rank prominently in the survey, garnering only 11% and 8%, respectively. One respondent’s opinion stood apart and captured the essence of logistics quite well: “There are no stars in the logistics industry. We must all work together.”