Supply chain professionals across the world must remember that innovation is a mindset
Innovation is exactly how supply chains have grown to be this dependable in a highly connected and globalised world. Whether via sea, air, rail, or road, ingenuity has radically changed the way the world trades in the past 150 years.
This week we launched our latest whitepaper, Preparing supply chains for the future. At the heart of our push to move the global supply chain forward is innovation: innovations in technology, process, people and sustainability that will secure our most vital trading networks for generations to come. The future we're aiming for requires end-to-end supply chain providers, like DP World, to be dependable. Dependable for the many billions of people who rely on supply chains for their livelihoods, food, clothes, cars and technology.
Innovation is exactly how supply chains have grown to be this dependable in a highly connected and globalised world. Whether via sea, air, rail, or road, ingenuity has radically changed the way the world trades in the past 150 years. High speed rail, quick construction of warehousing and even the advent of containerisation; supply chains and logistics have moved global trade in ways that would be unrecognisable a century ago.
In a world that is saturated with innovation and technology, why do businesses need innovative solutions? Navigating the supply chain crunch of the past three years showed that on one hand there has been an over reliance on the advancements made in previous decades. On the other, there is a pressing need to address the environmental and climate emergency we face both now and tomorrow.
The logistics and global supply chain sector has not advanced in line with the speed at which the world is changing. Population increases and a growing middle class around the world means there is more demand and more need for goods and services than ever before. The Global South is ready to grow at an extraordinary pace to take billions out of poverty, whilst the developed world needs every means of recovery possible.
And to that end, the manual paperwork that slows down our customers' goods as they travel across borders is too analogue for today’s digital age. Merchants in India or Mozambique need to be able to export more quickly to grow the textile or perishables sectors in their respective countries. And with 10% of all of the global transport sector’s CO2 emissions emanating from international shipping, there needs to be a radical rethinking of how goods move around the world, and how our customer supply chains work to protect the planet.
Central to solving those challenges is innovation. Innovation is needed to make supply chains move as fast as the world is turning. At DP World, innovation is a mindset for growth, not just a technology. Of course, combining both that mindset and the tools of tomorrow is vital as we have shown with the creation of BOXBAY. Our High Bay Storage system cuts down time, resources, and energy by using an automated system that holds 200% more capacity and is fully powered by solar panels.
We are also looking at the efficiencies created by 5G and Web3 with IoT proof-of-concepts that could revolutionise the way ports work. And we are using platforms that develop digital twins so that we can speed up modelling for container and vessel inspections, as well as simulations of warehousing and terminal operations. Drones are helping us perform essential checks at our dry docks while digital platforms like CARGOES, an ERP solution to support small and medium sized freight forwarders, help our customers to overcome technology barriers and manage their back-office operations more efficiently. Our Trade Finance operation creates access to affordable capital for the businesses that need it most by using AI and machine learning models to better assess credit risk.
In practice, our innovations mean marginal but critical gains for global supply chains. For example, our CARGOES Community System now stands as one of the most advanced port community systems in Saudi Arabia, allowing shipping lines to access real-time updates on the status of any registered vessel arriving or departing from the terminal, simply and cost-effectively.
An innovative mindset also allows us to live and breathe DP World’s ‘Our World, Our Future’ sustainability strategy. We have found ways to fuel our ports and terminals in our quest to reach our sustainability targets. Our multimodal terminal in Antwerp, Belgium now runs on 100% green energy. In Peru, our terminal in Callao is the first in the world to purchase a fleet of 20 electric internal terminal vehicles (ITVs), which along with other equipment will see a reduction of 1.5 million litres of diesel every year. And that innovative thinking allows us to act smarter. We’ve created a sustainable connection between our terminals in Stuttgart, Germany and Rotterdam, Netherlands terminals by using barges to move cargo more than 1,000 kilometres with a fuel consumption of less than five litres.
The way forward for the 21st century supply chain requires that every business, every peer and every partner innovate to adapt to the fast-moving world we live in. Adopting the practices, mindsets and technology that will move our customers' goods and services quicker and sustainably are the keys to building the prosperity we all aim for around the world.