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Day 2 Highlights

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More than 600 professionals from leading carriers, postal operators, 3PLs, retailers and technology providers gathered in Barcelona for Leaders in Logistics Summit, the flagship event for the global e-commerce, parcel delivery and postal ecosystem.

It’s the technology everybody’s talking about so it’s no surprise that on Day 2 of the flagship Leaders in Logistics conference in Barcelona, ‘The AI Awakening’ panel was described as the most awaited of the conference so far.

This high level session pulled together industry leaders to discuss how AI is already transforming e-commerce logistics, and predict what might lie ahead. From automation of repetitive back-office tasks such as invoicing and accounting to detecting warehouse fraud and improving CX through more human-like chatbot experiences, AI is already making an impact on the industry.

It is still early days, however, with our panellists being upfront about the barriers and obstacles to successful deployment, which inevitably highlighted the perennial pain points caused by legacy systems and siloed datasets.

The hardest thing is the data quality…you have to have this foundation in place.

Insurance Innovators Summit Panel

‘The hardest thing is the data quality,’ said Marc Gittler, Vice President, Data Analytics, DP DHL. ‘It has to be clean and it has to have the right history for an AI model. It’s hard work but you have to have this foundation in place.’

This work will inform where there are gaps in the data that need to be plugged in order to make the AI use case effective. ‘Partnership data can help you fill your data gaps,’ said Rasmus Haaning, Director Operational Excellence Group at DSV. ‘Be honest about what you have and how accessible it is.’

AI does not come without its risks, however, from its propensity to ‘hallucinate’ to concerns about data privacy and bias. Marc Gittler of DP DHL said he expects to see new regulation. ‘It’s going to be interesting to see how this evolves but there will have to be legislation to give us direction on what’s allowed and what’s not,’ he said, although he cautioned companies not to wait for law-makers. ‘We need to be thinking about this now,’ he said.

There can be no discussion of AI without addressing the potential impact on jobs. For an industry that is already battling skills shortages, however, there is an argument that AI is an essential augmentation of the workforce.

‘We have a lot of senior staff who will retire in the near future with a major loss of knowledge,’ observed Andreas Thöni, Executive Vice President, Digital and Innovation at Austrian Post. ‘I see a role for this technology as part of a knowledge management solution so this knowhow is not lost and is passed to new or temporary colleagues.’

Job losses were also discussed in the lively panel on ‘The quick commerce opportunity: beyond grocery’. The same-day-delivery offer is a fast-growing market opportunity, where advanced robotics are expected to make an impact. Salman Moghimi, Founder and CEO of Peyk, said robots can be used in niche environments, such as university campuses and gated residential compounds, and deliver real savings in both costs and emissions.

Sustainability is a key issue for same-day delivery solutions. ‘The level of fragmentation and the waste of capacity is an issue for same-day delivery and quick commerce,’ said Seb Robert, CEO of Gophr. ‘There’s often not much ability to fold more work along that vector to reduce the amount of carbon emissions.’

Along with collaboration, which was a recurring theme throughout the two-day event, route optimisation was highlighted as critical to finding those much-needed efficiencies and driving out unnecessary miles. This leads back to AI, which was widely accepted as the enabling technology that will deliver up a smarter, greener industry that can not only meet customer expectations on convenience and cost but also yield margins for operators and make good on essential sustainability commitments.

“The waste of capacity is an issue for same-day delivery.”

Expect further lively debate at Leaders in Logistics Summit 2025, 12-13 March at The Estrel, Berlin, when AI’s exponential and transformative power will have taken further leaps forward.
Insurance Innovators Networking
Insurance Innovators Summit Stage
Insurance Innovators Summit speaker on stage

Doddle helps carriers and posts around the world make ecommerce delivery and returns more efficient, customer-friendly and useful. Years of fulfilment experience in the world’s most advanced ecommerce markets gives us the expertise to help carriers create delivery and returns strategies that enhance customer experience, promote sustainable solutions and drive profitability and efficiency. Our white-label technology platform powers the creation, roll out and management of a full out-of-home delivery and returns ecosystem.

Acquired by Blue Yonder in 2023, each solution in the Doddle portfolio has been added to the global supply chain technology leader to offer a complete end-to-end returns management system (RMS) alongside its existing Order Management, Transport Management and Warehouse Management solutions.

Doddle’s expertise and technology is trusted by some of the worlds’ biggest retail and logistics businesses from ASOS and Amazon to USPS and Australia Post.​

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