In an ideal preemptive logistics world, shippers would be able to "predict the demand for products, services and solutions before customers even make purchase decisions ... [and] all parties will be able to see where and in what condition the shipments are (age, temperature, vibration, etc.)," according to Ericsson's report.
This requires firms to invest internally in digital transformation, work with supply chain partners to ensure interoperability between systems and develop a level of trust that permits information sharing in the first place, the report stated, citing the industry's "substantial lack of transparency."
Firms have many ways to improve transparency internally and with supply chain partners — from investing in digital management systems and 5G connectivity for warehouses to container and order tracking technologies, according to the survey. A majority of respondents said they're considering investing in blockchain to collect and share data securely.
Some firms, notably Amazon, are in-housing logistics to digitally integrate their supply chains, the report noted. However, going the "Amazon route" is not feasible for all players due to resource or cost restraint, making outsourcing and data sharing across the supply chain necessary.