Digital transformation, ‘uberisation’ disruptive trends discussed at EPCA

04 October 2016 10:55 Source:ICIS News

Uber picBUDAPEST (ICIS)--Digital transformation and ‘uberisation’ are among the top three disruptive trends expected by firms active in the chemical supply chains and logistics, industry executives indicated on Tuesday.

Polled at the 50th European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting, they identified both factors, alongside a change in customer habit and expectations, as being the most potentially disruptive for their business over the next five years.

‘Uberisation’ of the industrial supply chains has already begun,’ futurist, Patrick Dixon, told EPCA delegates. Chemical companies will aim to have every lorry filled with product rather than drive around empty, he said. “Some products [eg polyethylene] still pass each other on the motorway,” he added.

“The whole of the road haulage sector has to be reformed,” he said, adding that the issue was wider than just petrochemicals.

“We have to operate as a technology company,” Essa Al-Saleh, CEO of Agility Global Integrated Logistics, said in a panel discussion at the meeting.

“The physical move is the easiest part.” he added. “Customers demand more and more information.”

“Digitalisation is already coming,” said Dow Chemical’s EMEA director of supply chain operations, Peter Marshall. End to end supply chain connectivity was on its way, he added. “We have to change how work is done,” he said.

Image source: Scott Garfitt/REX/Shutterstock

By Nigel Davis