Which future for Russian transport and logistics?

Which future for Russian transport and logistics?

December 5, 2016

What are global digital best practices in passenger transport? Why don't incumbents and startups approach the market in the same way? And how do logistics companies deal with digital technology in their supply chain? These were just some of the issues that Daria Koroleva, Senior Project Manager, and Artem Zakomirnyi, Principal, raised in their presentations at the international conference "Internet + Services", a forum dedicated to the integration of Internet technologies into the transport sector. It was attended by spokespeople for federal and regional authorities, top managers of major Russian and foreign IT companies, leaders of airlines/railways/public transport operators, and leading transport innovation experts.

Daria provided insights not only on how traditional and new transport players developed innovative mobility services ( International practices of innovative mobility development ). She pointed to an important difference in the competitors' approaches. Traditional players were driven by their willingness to maintain a direct customer interface, while the new players were seeking a strategic niche in customer interaction. What unites them is that innovative mobility requires complex competences; players of all kinds face several challenges on their way. For the new players it is about access to customer bases, transport expertise and their ability to build partnerships. On the other hand, traditional players have to see to their IT competences and deal with questions of organizational flexibility and speed. Will the success of innovative mobility depend on who will be the first to build all the required competences? Who can act as an innovative mobility driver in Russia? Will the traditional operators be capable of ensuring innovative solutions fast and flexibly? Or will the new players take the leadership and handle data access on their own, without resorting to drastic regulatory measures? Answers to these questions determine market dynamics.

Artem Zakomirnyi took his stance in the discussion on "Logistics Uberization. Same Day Delivery". Transport and logistics giants such as TransContainer, Russian Post, or were eager to challenge their view on embedding state-of-the-art technologies into traditional supply chains, investment in logistics startups and the effect of navigation technologies on the development of unmanned vehicles.

Artem's presentation ( End-game in innovative logistics ) drew from the results of several studies by Roland Berger on digital business models in logistics. We are convinced that logistics is one of the industries where digitization is expected to have a remarkable impact. Interestingly, traditional players are confident they will be the platform for digital transformation. However, there are strong indications that new competitors are stronger than some may expect: startups stand for the main investments and innovative business ideas.

To finish, there was a lively debate about the perspectives of the logistics market in the context of digital solutions. A typology of industry players evolved ("end game"), including but not limited to, the model of "virtual provider of standardized services."

A clear business and operating model is the key to success in innovative logistics both in Russia and globally.