These are the scenarios outlined in the new “Logistics 2040” report released on 9 December by the strategic foresight firm 4CF and FM Logistic.
- The first scenario, called “Technology wins”, envisions a world where artificial intelligence and automation have boosted productivity and operational efficiency. Autonomous vehicles are everywhere. Logistics plays a huge part in supplying goods to consumers. Its role has extended to collecting, managing and recycling used products. The circular economy has become the norm. Renewable energy is cheap. Most industry sectors have achieved carbon-neutrality. On the downside, millions of jobs have been lost to automation. Only part of the workforce has been reskilled.
- The “zero growth” scenario depicts a world where national and local governments implement very stringent regulations to fight climate change. These include heavy taxes on transport and restrictions to urban traffic. Local production and distribution have taken precedence over international trade, except for the products that cannot be produced locally. The 3D printing market has boomed. Revenue decline has led to consolidation among transport and logistics companies.
- In the third scenario, called “Clinch”, rising protectionism has reconfigured global supply chains around the world. Countries look to limit their reliance on certain suppliers. The level of international cooperation is not sufficient to solve global issues such as climate change. The world is plagued with natural disasters. Standards of living in Europe have declined. Inequality within and between countries has intensified, causing social unrest.
The three scenarios are based on a review of academic and professional literature as well as interviews with logistics experts. They do not pretend to predict the future with assurance. Their goal is rather to stimulate thoughts and questions about already existing trends.
About FM Logistic
Founded in France in 1967, FM Logistic is an independent, family-owned company that provides supply chain solutions to a broad range of companies in the FMCG, retail, perfume & cosmetics, industrial manufacturing, and healthcare industries. It is active in 14 countries across Europe, Asia, and Latin America (Brazil). It achieved revenue of €1.43 billion in the fiscal year to March 2020 and has more than 27,500 FTE employees.
FM Logistic invests in innovation to offer supply chain services that answer changing consumer demands, the rise of e-commerce, omnichannel distribution and sustainability.
You can follow FM Logistic on Twitter at @FMLogistic