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  such as DHL are already fast expanding their footprint in this area, providing leadership to smaller players who are ready to seize these exciting opportunities. For the new players, the transition from business-to-business (B2B) to business-to-consumer (B2C) will involve a new roadmap to rethink and redesign logistics processes to complement current core business. The key to success is to design, manage and execute a well-optimised last mile delivery service to meet rising expectations of new retailing channels. Successful market penetration will allow companies to take on new businesses in this market. Doing it well can attract more partnerships with e-commerce and omni-channel merchants, resulting in a more diversified portfolio and long-term profitability.
Gaining More
Mileage Together
The Logistics Alliance, a six-member industry group, embarked on a project in 2017 to develop a centralised, real-time system to track container trucks islandwide. Known as the Transport Integrated Platform (TRIP), the platform is now up and running. At the project launch, then SLA’s (a member of Logistics Alliance) first deputy chairman, Mr Kay Kong Swan noted that innovative solutions were urgently needed in the logistics sector as higher business costs were eroding profit margins.
“Competition within Singapore has become keener,” said Mr Kay, who is also the Chief Executive for Integrated Logistics at CWT Limited. But he believes that more cooperation among businesses could increase efficiency across the sector - for example, when it comes to how container truck routes are coordinated with depot processing schedules. “Once you have a common platform for all drivers... you can share and pool jobs,” he said.
Elsewhere in the logistics chain, venture capitalists are leveraging their networks and
experience, especially in the B2C segment, to quickly scale up asset-light business models in fast-growing areas of logistics. A host of specialised startup businesses have emerged to target key aspects of transparency and automation in the logistics value chain, from initial quote request and booking, through real-time track and trace, to end fulfilment. These companies are focusing on technology- driven solutions such as Big Data and cloud technology to deliver customer-centric services. With technology lowering barriers to entry, these new entrants can carve out the more lucrative elements of the logistics value chain.
The growing presence of new players cannot be ignored. Logistics companies would need to respond with the right set of levers to stay competitive. A broader response to this new competition will inevitably involve a higher level of digital fitness, allowing for better asset utilisation, supply-demand matching and greater supply chain efficiencies. At the launch
of Connected Logistics Innovation Platform, an initiative to promote innovation by DHL Express with the support of the Economic Development Board, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon made a clarion call for the logistics community to embrace technology: “With new business and technology trends increasing in things like 3D printing and robotics, logistics businesses will definitely need to be more agile and adapt to these kinds of new trends... Logistics is all about connectivity - all the solutions... must have a way of cross connecting and talking to each other to allow this ecosystem to mature.” He noted that while the bigger players might be aware of the need to change and digitalise, it is important for everyone to level up and work with various players in the ecosystem.
Existing players need to view new technology-oriented logistics startups as offering innovative solutions rather than disruptors who want to displace entire value chains or

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