Tesla’s all-electric semi-truck is said to be going into production in 2019, with numerous prototypes already being spotted driving in preparation for the final model. Although this reality may still be far off for our local market, deliberating its impending impact is vital to ensure local supply chains and the economy at large are prepared. As autonomous truck technology speedily progresses, concerns are being raised regarding the impact on the jobs of the more than four million South African truck drivers. This is not a purely local conversation however, with tens of millions of people employed as truck drivers more across the globe.
The last century has witnessed the global population quadruple, in 1915 there was an estimated populace of 1.8 billion, at present, according to an estimate by the United Nations, there are just over 7 billion people with predictions of reaching 9.7 billion by 2050. This growth, together with increasing income levels in developing countries (which have an impact on dietary changes such as consuming increased amounts of protein and meat) are driving up the global food demand.
With the increasing frequency and severity of global weather events and the resulting negative impact on infrastructure, agriculture and the overall wellbeing of humanity, climate volatility effects the entire world, directly and indirectly. Businesses and industries are reliant on logistics networks to maintain market share, but thanks to extreme weather events these networks are at a considerably increased risk. Scientists are progressively cautioning businesses to keep climate change in mind when developing supply chain management strategies.
Collaboration and sharing of information are vital to supply chain success. It is well known that information sharing allows companies to make better decisions, leading to improved resource utilisation and ultimately lower supply chain costs. Furthermore, better management of information will enable companies to be more responsive to customer demands.
There is no longer any debate regarding the far-reaching, and disruptive impact that e-commerce has had on retail business models, and the supply chains that support them. As traditional retailers attempt to retain market share by introducing companion e-commerce sites, the approach adopted when doing so can ultimately have a marked impact on the success of such venture down the road.