Consumers might think the lifecycle begins when a product lands on a store shelf. But this is really more than halfway through the commerce journey. Almost all goods for sale are transported to the point of sale from somewhere else, moved to retailers and eventually customers by the trucks, aircraft, ships and trains that form the circulatory system of the world’s transportation system. And this circulatory system at the hear of Smarter Commerce is its lifeblood.
Recent trends in globalization, population growth and urbanization have driven demand that creates challenges for traditional transportation systems. Delays and congestion have skyrocketed, constricting the growth of economies across the globe. Operators have recognized the need to take action; up to $30 trillion will be spent on improving transportation infrastructures in the next 20 years. But to really optimize transportation for the 21st century, businesses will need more than new infrastructure.
Smarter transportation solutions from IBM can help increase the capacity of existing freight carriers by using data to accurately predict demand and better align capacity. The solutions can also provide better information to help drive political change, attract more public and private investment in transportation systems and develop advanced traffic control systems for air, land and sea.
IBM solutions are already helping commercial freight providers around the world reduce costs and operate more efficiently. When China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) was looking to make the most of its distribution resources, it implemented a supply chain optimization solution from IBM that provided data-driven recommendations to help streamline services. In the end, COSCO was able to reduce the number of distribution centers by 60 percent and cut logistics costs by 23 percent, all with no degradation of service. Numbers like these are helping to make sure that goods reach their point of sale more quickly and efficiently.
COSCO’s story is just one example of how instrumented, interconnected and intelligent transportation solutions from IBM can help drive smarter commerce. If transportation is the circulatory system of the world’s economy, then making sure that system is healthy can go a long way towards ensuring Smarter Commerce in the 21st century. Learn more in the white paper, The Case for Smarter Transportation.