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Big data startups pester the traditional logistics industry

They're small, young, and data-driven: New logistics founders celebrate one round of financing after the other. The financiers are IT financial investors.

23 Jan. 2017
Big Data Startups
New logistics founders celebrate one round of financing after the other. (Photo: Oliver Wyman-Analyse)

Digitization will have far-reaching impacts on the freight forwarding business. German companies such as DHL, DB Schenker or Dachser are in danger of losing their global leadership, according to the management consultancy Oliver Weyman in an analysis of the international logistics market . The reasons the report gives are, on the one hand, the current market leaders’ hesitant approach to digital transformation and, on the other, the high level of agility of the logistics startups founded in recent years, such as Flexport , uShip , UberFreight or FreightHub .

Significantly, the financing comes primarily from the United States and Asia, often supplied by venture capital firms from Silicon Valley to considerable degree. According to the Oliver Wyman analysis, the publicly known financing rounds of logistics startups alone amounted to nearly eleven billion euros over the past decade. On average, a new logistics startup is founded once every five days. And these startups are extremely flexible – without consideration for existing structures and without preparation, they can pursue the same disruptive big-data approaches for which Uber has become known in passenger transportation.