There is a good argument for saying that the most dramatic developments in logistics are not taking place in Europe, or even America, but in China. Last month Chinese retail giant JD.com raised $2.5 billion to finance the expansion of its logistics subsidiary, JD Logistics.
The challenges facing the home delivery operators in the face of rapid growth have been thrown into sharp relief by two events in the past months.
Blockchain is still more talked about than actually used in practice, but momentum is growing as more and more organisations take up the technology.
The fate of the once ubiquitous costermonger is instructive. In 1911, there were almost 70,000 of these street sellers. But, the occupation – along with domestic servants, washers and manglers, coachmen and grooms – has all but died out as a result of automation.
The rosy glow of Christmas has been quickly banished by two new reports highlighting supply chain risks, one of which proclaims: “World enters critical period of intensified risks in 2018”.