This was the consensus reached at DHL’s recent annual global technology conference in Shanghai, China.
“More than any other industry, the technology sector is driven by constant innovation, short product cycles and new sales channels. From a logistics perspective this is a great challenge, but it also provides forward-thinking logistics companies with an opportunity to embed themselves more fundamentally in the technology supply chain and generate even more value for customers,” said Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express.
Recent trends such as the emergence of mobile devices ahead of PCs as the preferred access tool for the Internet were noted at the gathering.
“In fact, DHL estimates that 60% of all IT hardware growth will come from tablets and smartphones this year. Both devices also elevate a trend towards high innovation cycles, which demands logistics providers to improve time to market while supporting competitive price positioning,” a company release said.
“An overall trend towards simplified and lighter products, combined with price pressure, is challenging manufacturers, their suppliers, and sometimes even their competitors to develop collaborative solutions that improve the cost efficiency of the technology supply chain,” it continued. “This trend has seen an increase in the use of shared logistics platforms such as multiuser warehouses.”
The experts also highlighted the continued growth of Asia as both manufacturing site—production is shifting to areas such as China’s western provinces, Vietnam, and Indonesia—and consumer market for technological products, and its implications on supply chains. The focus on Asia as a key player at both ends of the product cycle will challenge global logistics providers to add resilience, visibility, and control to supply chains, they pointed out.