As one of two authors of Roadmap 2.0’s section on Logistics Infrastructure, Dana Magliola, Senior Supply Chain Management Consultant at Supply Chain Forward and previously the Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at North Carolina State University, says the topic is inherently intertwined with the other three sections of the report: workforce, consumers and technology.
“When you think about the evolution of logistics infrastructure today, we’re quickly approaching a new paradigm where full supply chain visibility is now the base model—it’s just what’s expected,” he explains. “Put another way, full supply chain visibility will not be a technological high point, it’s going to be table stakes. And it’s going to be enabled by technologies and the maturation of things like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).”
Participants in the Roadmap 2.0 workshops, continues Magliola, strongly believe that when it comes to logistics infrastructure developments by 2030, digital data flow will become every bit as important as the physical flow of goods. That’s because both industrial and individual consumers already expect more than just the item they want when they want it; they also demand full transparency about their shipments’ status and location.
“Right now, customer expectations of transportation and logistics infrastructure are lofty. We have to think about the planning and investment that will be required to keep pace with those expectations,” he says. “That’s a particular challenge when consumers—whom my fellow Roadmap 2.0 author David Schneider calls ‘the great disruptor’—have no gauge of reality about what is within the realm of possibility within supply chains.”
For this reason alone, Magliola says that the economy of 2030 will be built on data and technology demands that will run the new logistics infrastructure, and not the other way around. “Individual and corporate consumer demands on supply chains will be so significant that the ensuing capabilities will likewise have to be equally significant.”
To meet those expectations, he predicts corporate level consolidation to the degree that it actually prompts industry shifts both within and outside of the supply chain sector. The same shifts will likewise create vast opportunities for innovation in niche- and service-related functions within the field.
“The term ‘collaboration’ is starting to become a bit of a buzzword, but make no mistake—it’s going to be the prescription for building both sustainable business practices and digital and physical infrastructure projects in the future,” he continues, noting that public-private partnerships will become the norm.
“Because when publicly-funded physical infrastructure projects are undertaken, they typically do not include infrastructure designed to accommodate digital flows,” Magliola concludes. “I fully expect the new model to incorporate civic and private investment and planning paired together to make sure digital and physical logistics infrastructures are in sync by 2030.”
Want to learn more about the anticipated intersection of digital and physical logistics infrastructure between now and 2030? Download the free Roadmap 2.0 report here.