Innovation, collaboration, disruption: the future of the air cargo industry
- 63.8 % – Group 1: Big Data, e-docs, Blockchain, IoT, Cloud, Online services
- 8.5 % – Group 2: AI & Cognitive, Robots, Augmented reality, Virtual reality
- 2.1 % – Group 3: Smart Tates, Wearables for animals
- 0 % – Group 4: Screening, Biometrics
- 10.6 % – Group 5: Drones, Airships
- 8.5 % – Group 6: 3D Printing
- 6.4 % – Group 7: Cyber Security
Business models must be further developed or modified
“We haven’t quite reached the point where we want to be,” stated Dr. Anselm Eggert from Lufthansa Cargo, referring to the air cargo industry and naming electronic airway bills as an example. While these are still waiting to established, the e-ticket has already been a standard in the air passenger industry for quite some time now. “What would take weeks or months for us to do takes just a few days for start-ups to complete,” he added. FIEGE representative Völlnagel therefore sees start-ups as an “extended workbench.” He considers it vital to collaborate and, if necessary, cooperate with competitors in order to promote innovative business models. However, Thomas Blank (CEO of Kerry Logistics) thinks that platform solutions for new market participants are merely additional options for existing business models that will not make them entirely superfluous over the next ten years.
Collaboration is also the key word here: according to Dr. Jungkunz, robots will not replace humans. Instead, robots will assist us in our work much like a butler would – at least for the next ten years, that is.
Three Questions for Wolfgang Lehmacher
Because technology and innovation constitute an important policy focus in those places. The government has made them the core of its long-term strategies and promotes them with programs and legislation. The “national culture” is an important factor in this context: Is it supportive of the industrial activities and tests, or does the population criticize this? Another aspect is the educational and training system: San Francisco, Boston, Singapore and London have world-class institutions that are also supported by the business world. Virtually all innovation powerhouses have a high proportion (20 to 50 percent) of immigrants in their population. For well-educated people and the widely differing viewpoints and approaches they bring with them from around the world to be able to creatively exchange ideas, they need a good – and especially a digital – infrastructure.
What can we in Germany learn from these places and where do you see the greatest need for action?
Germany is thorough and conservative. These values are appreciated all over the world. They are conducive to reliability and quality, but not to innovation. We can nevertheless learn from the leading innovation locations. It is important to note here that usually cities – rather than countries – promote innovation: Cities have more leeway and room to maneuver. First of all, the city’s government needs to provide good governance. This includes clarity, courage, and commitment. The benefits of innovation should be made clear to the population. Structures need to be streamlined. Small pilot projects should not require months of talks and ten or more permits – which was unfortunately the case with some of the projects I worked on. We need to strengthen the educational system – business could get more involved in this area. Innovation needs capital: This could be provided by governments on a larger scale and companies could be granted tax incentives for promoting start-ups. The infrastructure should be continuously developed.
Online marketplaces, sharing economy models, and data platforms for information exchange were topics of discussion at the Frankfurt Air Cargo Innovation Lab. In your estimation, which approach is most likely to bring disruptive change to the airfreight sector?
In my opinion, online marketplaces are the greatest potential disruptive force in airfreight. They can be created by start-ups or by logistics companies that reinvent themselves. The special feature of online marketplaces or e-commerce platforms is the platform effect, which forces the development of monopolies. As a result, the leading platforms acquire a lot of market power, which then makes life more difficult for suppliers, including the airfreight sector. Airlines can prevent this by using the online marketplace as a strategic tool. This offers them considerable potential for growth.
Photos: Tim Wegner, World Economic Forum
(Please note that we are not allowed to publish all presentations)
Innovation and the economy
Jeremy Salomon, IATA Manager, Regional Communications & Regional Affairs Europe
Leapfrog yourself or being leapfrogged –
Cornerstones for successful innovation management by established companies
Professor Dr. Carsten Dreher, Professor for Innovation Management, Freie Universität Berlin
Which country is leading the charge in logistics innovations?
Wolfgang Lehmacher, Director Supply Chain and Transport, World Economic Forum
Platforms create dynamism and added value! Or are they just destroying traditional business models?
Dr. Philip von Mecklenburg-Blumenthal, Senior Director Marketplace, Freightos
Marcel Frings, CCO, Saloodo!
Dolores Pellegrino, Project Manager, Bosch Service Solutions
Short presentation of tech innovations from:
Roger Hillen-Pasedag, Director Strategy, Innovation & CR, Hermes Germany
Karel Kural Msc, M.Eng Research Engineer, HAN Automotive Research
Kim Kian Wee, Assistant Director APCS Training and Innovation, IATA
Dr. Ralf-Maximilian Jungkunz, Head of department aviation logistics, Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik IML