ABI Research: Autonomy and Asset Tracking Imperative to Support 13% Global E-Commerce Rise in 2022

January 17, 2022

Material growth in the value of global goods traded over the last five years represents the evolution of globalization, increasing incomes in many locations, and the need to connect people and devices. Baseline forecasts for 2022 exceed anything seen in the prior six or more years. According to ABI Research, e-commerce revenue will grow from US$560 billion in 2020 to US$8 trillion in 2026. This explosive e-commerce growth underscores the need for supply chains to become more flexible and agile to address future disruptions and create more resilient value chains.

“The pandemic exposed the weaknesses of fragmented, regionally dependent, and inflexible supply chains. Even as current challenges subside, new, and potentially unforeseen challenges will become the norm, and companies will need to ensure supply under a more volatile business landscape. Companies need to be willing to invest in next-generation technology, infrastructure, and human resources to build resilience and efficiency into their constantly evolving operations,” explains Susan Beardslee, Supply Chain Management & Logistics Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

This includes digital twins for retail, a US $888 million opportunity in North America by 2027, to optimize forecasting and adjust pricing like those offered by HERE Technologies. Asset tracking such as Wiliot “Sensing as a Service” platform inform the supply chain in real time on product location, users, replenishment and more. Fulfillment operations can save 20% of their time via hands-free solutions like those from Datalogic. Greater sustainability is needed including circular economies as supported by Cisco. Companies like Blackberry and Akrose Labs provide critical security to protect the connected supply chain.

Mehdi Bentanfous the Chief Revenue Officer of KINEXON explained, “The rise of e-commerce and ever more demanding supply chains and customer expectations have long been key drivers for innovative, new technologies. The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting disruptions have tremendously accelerated the execution of digitalization strategies including digital twins. Digital twins create more transparency across supply chains and logistics processes and enable companies to optimize and automate in a more flexible, agile way. KINEXON is offering a powerful location-based portfolio to turn the pandemic-related challenges into opportunities for more efficiency, digital awareness, and competitiveness in production, fulfillment, and warehousing. With our location-based automation software KINEXON OS, we offer end-to-end automation that add value in real time and future-proof business processes.”

“There is no singular “silver bullet” to address the multiple supply chain challenges, and not all challenges can be addressed purely by technology. Technologies can, however, improve visibility, flexibility, efficiency, and profitability, repairing numerous challenges, many of which existed pre-pandemic,” Beardslee concludes.

Ronald Ranaldi, Senior Vice President of Humatics added, "The need for humans and robotics to collaboratively work together to fulfill demand is even more pressing today with the global shortage of workers. The market is beginning to adopt emerging technology that makes this possible."

These findings are from ABI Research’s Global Supply Chain Challenges and Solutions application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Supply Chain Management & Logistics research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present in-depth analysis on key market trends and factors for a specific application, which could focus on an individual market or geography.

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