Logistics is a central focus of the supply chain, dedicated to the fluid movement, storage, and procurement of goods within the supply chain. The Logistic Tech covers a landscape where software, hardware, and digital innovation are combined to automate tasks, improve efficiency, and mitigate logistic-related challenges. In particular, rising customer expectations, fueled by the rise of ecommerce, have also increased the urgency for companies to fine-tune their logistics capabilities.
In response to these challenges, the industry has seen the adoption of technologies like AI, IoT, digital twins, and sensors to predict and simulate future outcomes. These advancements enable companies to optimize their logistics operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Additionally, real-time tracking technologies have enabled better coordination and scheduling, minimizing delays and risks in logistics operations.
Logistics technology is used commonly across various industries, with the consumer discretionary and industrial sectors being the most prominent. This specifically includes the leisure products and household durables subsegments for consumer discretionary as well as air freight and logistics under industrials.
The adoption levels for warehouse operations are relatively high as autonomous mobile robotics (AMR) systems enabled enterprises to automate large parts of their picking processes, improving productivity and reducing the need for manual labor. Moreover, procurement management solutions have been commonly used to help enterprises automate procurement processes and communicate with suppliers on quantity, price, and dates.
We have identified key logistics technology use cases below:
Warehouse automation and automated fulfillment solutions represent the most commonly targeted segments within Logistics Tech, with the most incumbents and disruptors. Both segments are relatively mature, comprising many growth-stage disruptors like Geek+, Exotec, Locus Robotics, GreyOrange, and Attabotics. Meanwhile, many of the leading incumbents, including Ocado Group, AutoStore, and Zebra Technologies, as well as several growth-stage disruptors, such as Shiphero and Tompkins Robotics, operate across both segments.
The third-party fulfillment solutions segment has relatively fewer incumbents and disruptors. However, major players like growth-stage disruptors Flexport and Shipbob, as well as leading incumbents like Amazon, operate within the segment.
Procurement management seems to be less mature, with fewer growth-stage disruptors and incumbents. Moreover, the segment also has a relatively higher number of early- and seed-stage companies than others.
The Logistics Technology industry is dominated by incumbents that specialize in warehouse automation and automated fulfillment services. Many players leverage technologies such as automated storage/retrieval systems (AR/RS) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) for use cases across both segments. This is in contrast to disruptors, which typically specialize in a given segment.
Furthermore, while hardware (specifically robotics) remains a large part of incumbent offerings, many players such as Ocado and Autostore have also launched software platforms to enable users to automate warehouse operations such as putaway and replenishment, intelligent order batching, and inventory management. Notably, many of these platforms are integrated with traditional warehouse management systems (WMS) to enable interoperability between related systems.
Apart from automated fulfillment and warehouse automation, companies that have extensive experience in traditional shipping and freight logistics have expanded their offerings to include high-tech third-party fulfillment solutions for ecommerce. For example, Amazon has leveraged technology developed by its subsidiary Kiva Systems, an AMR system provider, to integrate the company’s scalable solutions into its online retail business and global network of fulfillment centers.