Megatrends influence economy, society and politics. What are the impacts on logistics? An Overview on five big Trends:

1. The demographic development of economies

The increasing concentration of the population in large cities and conurbations will also place high demands on logistics in the future. Just think for example about the distribution of goods in these regions over the last mile. In addition, changes in the age pyramid are also leading to new demands among the population, as older people increasingly want goods delivered to their homes.

2. Globalisation and the division of labour

More and more countries that were once recipients of goods and services now want to participate actively in the creation of added value. As a result, more and more products are now manufactured locally, which leads to a greater division of labour and therefore to additional flows of goods.

3. Technology and the Internet

Online shopping has led to almost a doubling of the flow of goods, not least because about 60 per cent of the goods are also sent back. Ever faster data connections provide the opportunity to participate in this trend. This means that warehousing, picking and transport planning will again grow in importance. The efficiency of the Internet has significantly accelerated the processes in logistics and made them more efficient.

4. Customised products for specific markets

There are very few actual global products left these days, and demand in the future will be forcustomised products for specific markets. Customisation leads to diversity and increases the complexity of logistics. The trend towards the ability of online shops to deliver within 24 hours accelerates logistics processes enormously.

5. Sustainability and environmental impact

The various modes of transport must be assessed in terms of their environmental impact, both inintralogistics and in international trade. All logistical elements, from production through to picking to transportation, must also be considered with reference to their sustainability.

Our editorial team talked to Professor Horst Wildemann vom Forschungsinstitut Unternehmensführung, Logistik und Produktion at the TU München on megatrends and their impacts in logistics. Read the complete interview!

Horst Wildemann

At the end of 20th century, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. habil. Dr. h.c. Horst Wildemann (*1942) was seen as the leading expert for Japanese and American logistics and production processes. One of his greatest achievements was his pioneering work in the German-speaking countries to promote the use of just-in-time production and logistics concepts. He adapted the originally Japanese philosophy to European conditions, and "introduced" and optimised it in Germany's automotive manufacturing companies. This underlines his status as the father of the German "just-in-time" concept and one of the most knowledgeable experts on the German and international automotive industry. It was in recognition of these achievements that he was inducted into the Logistics Hall of Fame in 2004.

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