The final quarter of the year is traditionally a time when we look to the future – towards the trends for 2019 and beyond. Economic prospects are good: as the economy continues to grow, the demand for transport in general and for temperature-controlled distribution in particular is increasing. At the same time, the sector is focusing on optimization, effectively on doing more with less. This is important, as growth is not the only major challenge facing us. Others include upscaling, the proliferation of e-commerce, 3D printing and a mismatched workforce (in terms of both quantity and quality). What trends can we identify within the transport sector, and how is VebaBox, as a cold chain specialist, responding to these?
Outsourcing of logistics
The outsourcing of logistics is becoming increasingly professionalized. This involves not only transport but also warehousing, packing and repacking, the handling of packaging materials and returns, and even full responsibility for the planning of the logistical process as a whole. These kinds of processes are challenging, particularly in the cold chain. VebaBox is therefore focusing on the development of large and small modular cooling containers that can easily be integrated into existing processes for transport and storage.
Multimodal transport is becoming increasingly important. The distributors of the future are preparing for congested roads and sustainability issues by offering multimodal transport in collaboration with road and rail transporters on the one hand and with ‘last-mile solutions’ on the other. This development in particular is creating a demand for mobile modular cooling solutions and smart technologies to monitor and verify the conditions under which products are transported. The modularity aspect is therefore a prime area of focus for VebaBox.
The importance of sustainability
Sustainability is very much a part of our business model: harmful emissions and the norms for them must be brought back to a minimum. Where urban distribution is concerned, municipalities are making the use of hybrid and electric vehicles commonplace or even mandatory. The consolidation of loads and the use of on-board computers not only make a contribution to sustainability but also increase company returns. When it comes to temperature-controlled transport, it’s all about delivering the required cooling power while keeping energy demands to a minimum. VebaBox therefore recognizes the importance of investing in the latest technologies, materials and software in order to continually improve its cooling solutions and make them more sustainable.
Reliability and real-time verification capabilities
These days more than ever, brands, manufacturers and transporters are being required to confirm where products are and the conditions under which they are being held at any particular moment. The pressure on them to provide this information is continually being increased by consumers and regulations. Real-time verification capabilities are the key, making sensors and cloud applications crucial. More and more blockchain initiatives are also coming to the forefront. Innovative IT solutions lubricate trust between various parties. That is why VebaBox recognizes the increasing importance of using sensors and cloud solutions, and why it is investing in developments in this direction.
Business model innovation
The sector is characterized by technological innovation. Warehouse robotization, 3D printing and self-driving trucks are now not just something we talk about but instead are increasingly in evidence. Technological innovations compel us to innovate in terms of our business model for each step in the transport chain too. The keywords are cost flexibility, asset-smart policy and cooperation. VebaBox recognizes the value of partnering with specialists in specific chains, such as the food, health, lab and pharma chains, so that it can continue to deliver optimum value in each sector. Our focus is on innovations that meet the requirements of customers and clients but that also require minimum investment, or actually deliver savings. This is how VebaBox intends to make a positive contribution to the future business models to their customers.