The press release does not give much away, however the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and Swiss based forwarder Kuehne + Nagel stated on Monday January 15 that they had agreed to work together on creating new technology products for logistics.
The statement said that the two had signed a “Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint venture to invest globally in early stage companies developing cutting-edge technology for logistics and supply chains”.
It is unclear exactly how this joint venture will work; however it appears that it will essentially act as a venture capital organisation, “targeting investments into early stage companies which are developing technologies and services with the potential to transform traditional business models in logistics”. The scope is quite wide as the focus will cover “big data and predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, block chain and robotics.”
That Temasek should do this is hardly unsurprising. A large fund such as this needs to have exposure to different sectors of the economy and the logistics technology sector is becoming of great importance. Indeed, it might be suggested that logistics technology is one of the most promising technology markets.
Such developments should be taken seriously by all those in the logistics sector. It illustrates that technology is now perceived to have the potential for transforming not just operations but also the structure of markets.
In the past, digital transformation tended to emerge from newly created companies rather than established big players. Often larger incumbents have too much invested in the past and their management structure has proved too resistant to change to adapt to new technological realities. Yet Kuehne + Nagel appear confident that this does not apply to them and that they will be able to understand the trends of the present and future.
Source: Transport Intelligence, January 16, 2018
Author: Thomas Cullen
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