Wednesday, November 11, 2015

World Economic Forum Study Looks at Digital Effects on Logistics and the Supply Chain

Director Visits University to See Ongoing Work for Himself
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – Whilst most freight forwarders are busy enough moving goods around the world there is another breed of logistics professionals embarking on ways to improve the global supply chain at a completely different level. Following a recent visit Wolfgang Lehmacher, Director of Supply Chain and Transport Industries for the World Economic Forum has hailed the expertise of the University of Hull’s Logistics Institute for a study it is currently undertaking.

The Forum is the world’s leading organisation for public-private cooperation to shape global, regional, national and industry agendas and is best known for its annual winter meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together a broad range of stakeholders, including heads of state and leaders of global businesses to address the most pressing issues facing the world. The Forum has selected the Logistics Institute as academic partner to conduct research and analysis of case studies of cutting-edge applications of digital technology in the supply chain and logistics industries.

The Logistics Institute began working on the project, ‘Moving a Connected World’ earlier this year and it is due to conclude next summer. Initiated by one of Forum’s global think tanks, the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Logistics and Supply Chain, the study is exploring the impact and opportunities resulting from digital connectivity. These include the Internet and how it allows the movement of data, the ‘Internet of Things’ i.e. digitally connected devices and sensors which capture data to inform supply chain operators and Cloud computing.

The intention is to inform and influence governments and major corporations in how to innovate and improve how goods and products move around the world. Mr Lehmacher said:

“The University of Hull has a centre for logistics which is dedicated to understanding better developments in specific areas, such as geography and technology, and we felt this was a very good fit with the requirements of the project. In addition, the University is oriented towards multi-stakeholder research, which is very well aligned with the World Economic Forum as an organisation that promotes public and private sector collaboration.

“The University has a very important role to play in contributing to the development of the logistics industry and aggregating the knowledge to have a broad understanding of the supply chain eco-system. I am impressed by the dynamic of the team and the quality of the faculty. Therefore, I am not surprised that, in certain fields, Hull is a leading university in the UK.

“The University is supporting this project, by developing a framework to analyse case studies provided by the leading players in the industry and helping us to drive recommendations for the public and private sectors in respect to how best to leverage the new technologies. I am confident about the outcomes of this project.”

Director of the Logistics Institute, Professor Amar Ramudhin commented how important it was for the prestige of the University to be involved in such a partnership whilst project team member Dumal Welikala, who works for the Logistics Institute as a Researcher in Web Development and Data Analytics, having recently graduated from the University with a BSc in Computer Science commented:

“The learning curve is very steep, but it is great to be involved in this study and you really feel you are playing a significant part in it. I feel incredibly proud to be working with industry leaders on a project which is aimed, ultimately, at improving how the world works.”

Photo: Professor Amar Ramudhin, Director of the Logistics Institute at the University of Hull, left, with World Economic Forum Director Wolfgang Lehmacher and study team members Paul Sheehan, second right, and Dumal Welikala outside the University’s Business School.