The Alliance for European Logistics (AEL) is a one-of-a-kind industry coalition bringing together companies that provide and use logistics services in Europe. Launched in November 2008, AEL builds on the shared commitment of its members1 to enhance the logistics industry’s profile among European policymakers. The AEL collaborates closely with European institutions and stakeholders to raise awareness on the unique role that logistics play in helping the EU achieve its policy goals for 2030 and beyond.
The functioning of the logistics sector is the key to the functioning of the European economy. According to the 2018 Global Logistics Index published by the World Bank2, eight out of the ten best-performing countries in the logistics sector worldwide are EU countries.
Furthermore, as the global shift towards a low-carbon circular economy is underway, the logistics industry is becoming the frontrunner in many green services, technologies, and initiatives. Sustainability is a fundamental part of our industry’s transition. We are focusing our efforts on optimising the fleets and networks, introducing innovative technologies and developing green logistics solutions for customers and citizens.
In view of the ongoing development of the EU mobility policy, the AEL members outline below several key considerations from the logistics industry perspective.
Key trends in logistics and mobility
One of the key trends impacting logistics and mobility is climate change stemming from the urgent need to address the global challenges as well as the changing consumer behaviour of citizens through e-commerce leading to an increase in the number of necessary delivery services. At the same time, consumers and end-users demand options for sustainable supply chains driving demand for intermodal transport and the use of sustainable alternative fuels. New technologies to reduce emissions like alternative fuels, hydrogen cells, mass deployment of electric vehicles, addressing last-mile deliveries are clear trends that are contributing to the logistics sector’s decarbonisation drive.
More innovative logistic solutions to address issues for the first mile (supply) as opposed to only focusing on the final mile (demand) are also to be noted. Over recent years, we have seen major logistics advancements in the final mile such as e-commerce companies, automated warehouses, reduced lead times, track and trace, whereas the first mile has remained largely unchanged due to lack of scale. The opportunities to advance the first mile will come from digitalisation, for example, blockchain, reducing empty mileage through visibility and optimisation processes with intermodal transport that will effectively contribute to shifting cargo from road to rail or inland waterways.
On the digital front, we will see in the future further digitalisation supporting e-freight and trade facilitation. In addition, the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) and new services such as blockchain, truck platooning & autonomous vehicles, advanced fleet management thanks to 5G are also expected to revolutionise future logistics services.