CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 16, 2019
Forward Thinking

C.H. Robinson invests $1 billion in innovation and technology

The third-party logistics company will make the technology investments over the next five years.

At this week's Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE Conference in Anaheim, California, C.H. Robinson president and chief executive officer Bob Biesterfeld announced the company's plans to invest $1 billion in innovation, advanced technologies, and talent. This plan doubles its previous investment, which spent the same amount over the last ten years.

"We're excited about the future and look forward to continuing to innovate," Biesterfeld said in a release. "We are leading the way forward in logistics, addressing customer needs and laying the foundation for the next generation of tools and processes that will change not only how supply chains function, but ultimately change how our world is connected."

Speaking at the CSCMP EDGE Conference, Biesterfeld explained how big data and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics, are impacting the supply chain marketplace. He discussed why companies must leverage both technology and talent to compete and win on supply chain in the future.

Biesterfeld also shared feedback and actionable insights from more than 3,000 shippers, both domestic and international, highlighting their evolving priorities and needs. Among some of the company's research findings:

  • Technology is key - 88% of shippers who contract to purchase freight say that technology is extremely or very important when choosing a logistics provider.
  • External logistics providers' most important asset: visibility & predictive tools - 65% of customers say they either have or are planning on implementing real-time visibility and insight tools in the next two years.
  • Local expertise is necessary - 83% of shippers say that having a logistics partner with local and global expertise is essential to their business needs.

In addition, C.H. Robinson's customer research shined a spotlight on the importance of new capabilities, visibility into supply chains, and deep expertise in local and global markets. Biesterfeld highlighted the research findings during his presentation. The trends include: people will drive technology; to go global, we must first go local; and investments in infrastructure are key.



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