Logistics play an important part in national and business economics. Ever since the 1950s and the appearance of the first multinational logistics companies, this field has been rapidly expanding along with the increasing complexity and globalization of the world economy. Nowadays, the term is used to describe the process of transportation of various goods from point A to point B. The process itself is comprised of many additional subroutines, like shipping, storage, and management of the transported goods. Many companies in this business sector offer their services in logistics and transportation. Due to the fierce competition between these multi-national corporations, the industry is undergoing a constant process of innovation that allows streamlining and optimization of the supply chains. This paper will analyze the latest innovations in logistics industry by researching five major companies, such as TNT, DHL, Panalpina, Kuehne + Nagel, and FedEx.
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TNT Express is a massive multinational courier company. The headquarters of the organization are located in Netherlands. It possesses logistical, and transportation bases in 61 states and delivers freights, letters and parcels to over 200 countries (“History” par. 1). To stay on top of the competitive ring, the company invests greatly into development and promotion of various innovations in their logistics system. In 2011, the company was granted the prestigious Smart Services award from Cisco, for the implementation of a centralized information relay. This relay, located in Beijing, China, allows real-time monitoring and management of the supply chains spread across the entire Asia Pacific region (“TNT Express wins Cisco Award” par. 3).
DHL Express is considered to be the world’s largest logistics company. It was created in 1969 in Germany, and ever since became famous for expanding into countries that no other logistics company dared to serve, like the Soviet Union and members of the Eastern Bloc, China, Korea, and the Middle East (“History 1969 to Present” par. 2). In order to keep its positions as the leader in the logistics segment, DHL operates its own Innovation Center, dedicated to research and improvement of the company’s logistics. Its latest inventions include the DHL Smartsensor, which allows monitoring of the shipments and their temperature from anywhere around the world. Another innovative strategy developed by DHL Express is DHL Resilience360 program, which is a system that allows planning and management of supply chains while various threats such as natural disasters, wars, and socio-political changes into account (“Improving the Lives of Our Customers” par. 1). By extending its services into dangerous and unstable countries, DHL hopes to remain the largest logistics company in the world.
Panalpina is a Swiss logistics company that specializes in logistics services, which include air, land, and ocean transportation. It possesses an elaborate network of over 500 offices across 80 countries (“About Us” par. 1). The company is famous for its dedication to innovation. In 2016, the company signed a contract with Cardiff Business School in hopes of developing a specialized software that could be used to analyze and predict the shifts and fluctuations of the market, therefore allowing businesses to adjust to them while keeping a minimal inventory (“Double first for Panalpina” par. 3). The company is also known for being the first to fully upgrade its air freighters to Boeing 747-8F in 2011.
Kuehne + Nagel is a logistics company that operates on a global scale. It is perhaps the oldest company up to date, having been found in 1890 in Germany. Currently, its headquarters are located in Switzerland. In 2010, it was considered the leading freight company, accounting for 10% of the world’s entire shipping and transportation sector’s revenue (“Kuehne & Nagel International AG History” par. 4). The company’s motto is to improve itself through evolution and innovation of its services and business practices. In 2015, the company was acknowledged for its efforts by being awarded the “Logistics Award of the Year” for its development of a revolutionary system that allows for monitoring and management of all freight flows, including those made by sea, land, or air, as well as contact logistics activity (“Kuehne + Nagel and Coesia Group” par. 2).
FedEx, also known as Federal Express, is an American freight transportation company that has been active since 1971. It has over 1,000 offices and 63,000 employees (“Connecting People and Possibilities” par. 1). Its services emphasize speed and quality of delivery, as it is famous for its overnight deliveries. It has a long history of pioneering innovation. The company is known for creating the first system to monitor package locations, which is incredibly useful should a parcel get lost in transportation. FedEx is the first company to come up with a PC-based automatic shipping system, called the FedEx Powership. According to company’s official site, starting from 2017 they are planning to use alternative jet fuel made out of sustainable ingredients, for their air freights (“FedEx Innovation” par. 2).
Innovation is the fuel of modern economy and the companies that do not invest in the future are risking to be left hopelessly behind. Through the example of these major logistics companies, we could see the fierce competition and strife for innovation, as all five have contributed to the development of the global logistical network. New ways and methods of planning, monitoring, and transportation are introduced every year to ensure the speed, safety, and cost-efficiency of worldwide logistics operations.
About Us, 2016. Web.
Connecting People and Possibilities: The History of FedEx, 2016. Web.
Double first for Panalpina at Innovation and Impact Awards, 2016. Web.
FedEx Innovation: Four Decades of Breakthroughs, 2016. Web.
History, 2016. Web.
History 1969 to Present, 2016. Web.
Improving the Lives of Our Customers, 2016. Web.
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Kuehne + Nagel and Coesia Group recognised for supply chain innovation, 2015. Web.
Kuehne & Nagel International AG History, 2016. Web.
TNT Express wins Cisco Award for Innovative Services in Transport, 2011. Web.