15 dic. 2021

Europe-wide study: High potential for digitalization of logistics

  • Companies see great opportunities for digital transformation in logistics, but many are still in the early stages of implementation
  • Multiple use cases identified for global megatrends augmented reality and Internet of Things (IoT)

GOPPINGEN, December 15, 2021 – The digital transformation in logistics is still in its infancy for most companies in Europe, with only a third (33%) have started to implement a corresponding strategy. This is the result of a survey of 1,700 corporate decision-makers in ten European countries, which was conducted by the market research institute YouGov on behalf of the Handelsblatt Research Institute and TeamViewer.

On the other hand, despite the early stage of implementation in their own business, the corporate decision-makers surveyed already have a clear vision of which future technologies and digital megatrends will significantly shape logistics. A large proportion expect cloud services (71%), the Inter-net of Things (63%) and Big Data (58%) to play a greater role in logistics in the future. Many of those surveyed also see potential for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (46%) and wearables such as smart glasses (43%) to be used in logistics (Chart 1).

The participants of the survey expect a variety of benefits from the digital transformation: in-creased efficiency (83 %), improvement of quality or service level (82 %), cost reductions (82 %), more flexibility (80 %) and higher security of supply (80 %) are among the most frequently mentioned benefits. Around three quarters of respondents also expected higher employee satisfaction (78 %) and greater environmental sustainability (75 %).

Focus on smart logistics with IoT and AR

The study also pays particular attention to the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) solutions in logistics. According to the research, a large proportion of the corporate decision-makers surveyed see potential applications for solutions based on IoT (70%) and AR (62%) within their own companies.

When it comes to the possible applications for IoT in corporate logistics, just under half of the decision-makers surveyed (47%) named the tracking of warehouse inventories. Other important areas of application include automated ordering processes in a warehouse management system (44%) and tracking vehicles or goods deliveries (41%). In contrast, only a good fifth of respondents (23% / 22%) currently see possible applications for IoT within their own company in connection with the use of autonomous vehicles and robots (Chart 2).

For the use of AR in logistics, the respondents see potential primarily in the training and integration of workers (35%), in the improvement of picking quality (34%) and efficiency (31%), and in completeness checks (32%). Also, for remote support for location-independent expert help, 30 percent of the surveyed decision-makers see AR-supported application possibilities (Chart 3).

Suspected challenges, especially in technology

One part of the survey was about the expected problems on the way to the digital transformation in the logistics sector. According to the survey, around one-third of respondents (34%) thought that it would take a lot of time and money to implement the necessary technologies, 30% cited IT security concerns as a barrier, and a quarter each saw challenges due to existing legacy systems in IT (26%) and human resources (24%). On the other hand, neither the lack of priority in management (16%) nor the lack of acceptance among employees (16%) are perceived as major problems for the digital transformation in logistics (Chart 4).

Jan Junker, Executive Vice President of Solution Delivery at TeamViewer, said: “The study shows that the majority of corporate decision-makers have already thought about how to make their logistics fit for the digital future. On the other hand, there is plenty of room for improvement when it comes to implementation. At many of our customers, we can currently observe that the intelligent interaction of augmented reality and the Internet of Things in particular offers enormous potential for more efficient logistics. ”

About the survey

On behalf of TeamViewer and the Handelsblatt Research Institute, the market research institute YouGov surveyed a total of 1,700 corporate decision-makers from companies in which logistics processes or internal material flows play a major business role. The topics of the online survey were the digital transformation of logistics (status, challenges, goals, approach), future technologies in general, and specifically possible applications of augmented reality and IoT in the field of logistics. The survey was conducted between July 15 and July 26 in ten European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A publication with the complete analysis of the survey is planned for the next few weeks.