Software is No Longer a Barrier | Global Trade Magazine
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  October 5th, 2017 | Written by

Software is No Longer a Barrier

Digitization Can Reshuffle the Deck in the Logistics Industry

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  • 4PLs will be the main beneficiary of digital transformation.
  • 4PL providers manage supply chains without any of their own assets.
  • The 4PL business model only a few years ago occupied a niche market.

Will digitization reshuffle the deck in the marketplace of logistics services? The IT experts at AXIT, a Siemens company, believe it will.

A new paper just published by the specialist for cloud-based supply chain management solutions highlights how the digital transformation is affecting the industry. The authors believe that the fourth-party logistics (4PL) provider model will be the main beneficiary of this trend.

No fleet of vehicles, no warehouses, no transport equipment: 4PL providers manage supply chains without any of their own assets. A business model that, only a few years ago, still occupied a mere niche market in the shadow of the big logistics companies is now experiencing an upsurge thanks to digitization, the experts observe.

“Never before was it so easy to penetrate established markets and industries with the tools of digitization,” the authors write. “Software is no longer a barrier.”

All this is made possible thanks to the availability of cloud-based solutions that allow businesses to manage even complex logistics networks without investing in costly in-house IT architecture. IT platforms provide 4PL providers with all the features needed to integrate network partners, manage supply chains, and safeguard processes at the click of a mouse, the experts explain – and these platforms easily accommodate innovative applications to interact with the internet of things, transport schedules, and environmental and traffic data.

The publishers believe that digitization will shift the balance of power in the logistics industry: A truck manufacturer could soon become a transport manager, and more and more industry players could start managing their own logistics.

The AXIT expert paper is available for free download here.

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