Change is on the horizon: Digitalization, generative AI and other tools enable quicker supply chain decisions.

By Peter Lauge Just, Director, Account Management Partner at Kyndryl

Whether you’re buying clothes or a unique item like Danish licorice or Swiss chocolate, nearly every online purchase likely involves over 150 interactions from dozens of people in different countries and companies. While most items generally arrive within days, international shipments historically could take as long as 40 days.

The reasons for such delays? For one, even a simple parcel still involves a significant amount of paperwork and bureaucracy. For another, the basic principles of navigation haven’t changed much in decades and the shipping industry has largely lagged other industries in embracing technological innovations. That’s caused many organizations to miss the benefits of an end-to-end supply chain strategy that captures values.

Consider this: roughly 80% of all international goods are transported by sea today, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. What’s more, $14 trillion in goods are shipped annually. That’s why it’s important to leverage digitalization and IT services to drive efficiency from supply chain processes.

Roughly 80% of all international goods are transported by sea today.
$14 trillion of goods are shipped annually.

Shipping companies face common digitalization challenges: namely, information integration. They often lack deep capabilities to manage volumes of informational and physical logistics transactional data — keep in mind, there are billions of data points in different languages — within a diverse global network, in their cloud transformation journeys. These challenges could slow both profitable growth for providers and the realization of a true, single view of a global supply chain for customers.

The good news is that change is on the horizon. Shipping and logistics providers are leveraging supply chain opportunities such as digitalization, generative AI, IoT, 5G, autonomous ships, shipping drones, new fuels and trade rules. And that’s leading to better systems that allow organizations to make quicker decisions about how goods are shipped, stored, monitored, serviced and delivered to customers.

Kyndryl is working with several logistics and transportation companies and cities to help manage and modernize their IT infrastructure, integrating legacy technology systems with new applications. For example, earlier this year the Port of Barcelona commissioned Kyndryl for its ambitious technological transformation.

With advanced IT infrastructure services, companies can better anticipate potential problems and respond with flexibility and speed to exceptional events. 

Such an approach helps to not only generate more efficient business operations but also to take shipping companies to the next level with modern systems. The evolution for these types of companies requires the support of a technology and services partner with scale, depth and industry expertise to help them adapt to how people buy products today and in the future. 

Peter Lauge Just

Director, Account Management Partner at Kyndryl