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Collaborative logistics:Bringing on the sharing chain!

Airbnb, Uber, BlaBlaCar ... the collaborative economy is changing the world and business models. This collaborative mind-set has conquered the supply chain.

On June 8, 2018

Airbnb, Uber, BlaBlaCar … the collaborative economy is changing the world. By 2025, revenue from collaborative platforms is expected to reach $ 83 billion(1). Much more than a culture or working methods shift, it is a real change of business model that must take place. Supply chains are evolving too.

The “collaborative way of life”

What is your favourite app? Maybe, it is an application where you can get your “healthy” lunch delivered to your office or get everything you need for an off-the-cuff Friday night … Chances are, it is based on a “collaborative” way of working. ‘E-commerce deliveries increase every year by 15% in industrialised nations. That represents 100 million extra parcels a year in France alone. So, pooling is becoming a necessity as well as rethinking the future of logistics and collaborative logistics must become commonplace.’ says Jérôme Libeskind, expert in urban logistics and e-commerce.

According to a recent study by PwC(1), revenue from the platforms of the five key sectors of the collaborative economy – finance, hosting, transportation, human services and business services – is expected to increase by 63% annually. Figures showing that this new way of living is no longer to be considered as a passing fad!

Towards a collaborative logistics

Although the biggest innovations are happening in CtoC and BtoC businesses, collaborative concepts are emerging also in BtoB. In the area of ​​renting venues for meetings or conferences (LiquidSpace, BirdOffice, Hub-Grade), of pooling medical equipment between hospital structures or of public works machinery between municipalities – new offers are multiplying at high speed!

In the supply chain sector, collaboration and co-creation are essential ingredients. It is therefore key to help traditional companies open up to these new business models. It requires a real mindset shift, not only to take part in innovative concepts but also to convince clients and suppliers to join in. Thus, strong partnerships are key to develop open innovation, collaboration and federating an ecosystem where innovative concepts can emerge and be tested out.

Supply chain 4.0 in the starting blocks

This movement would remain on the drawing board without the trials, the sponsors and the investors that make it happen. And, it’s happening, through start-ups like Freightos (putting shipper and carriers in contact) or Xeneta (benchmarking maritime transport tariffs), the recent funds raised for Shippeo (handling and monitoring transport orders in real time; 2 M€), Fluent (blockchain company network; 1.5 M€) and Vekia (supply chain steering solutions; 2.4 M€). We don’t yet know the magnitude of the collaborative economy in the supply chain, but we do know that innovation is all about being in the starting blocks.

*Étude PwC, 2016

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