Creating a Cleaner and Greener Logistics Industry

One of the biggest revolutions for the shipping and logistics industry came over 60 years ago in the form of containerization that transformed the face of the industry as we know it. The man behind the idea, Malcom McLean, set into motion a way to transport goods faster and simpler from ships to trucks and trains. The air industry soon followed suit and the ULD (unit load device) was born.

The impact of these innovations is still being felt today, as while the logistics industry has continued to become cheaper, faster, and more efficient, we’re still focused and based on these inventions and ideas of the past.

We’re quickly reaching a point now where some industries, such as automobile manufactures, are becoming disrupted by new technologies hitting the market. Many of these disruptors root from the clean and renewable energy segment of the market which is quickly becoming more affordable as the price of technologies in the segment drops. While many have had to adjust rapidly to keep up, businesses in the logistics industry are at a crossroads currently; either innovate or be left behind.

Mr. Ramez Naam

It isn’t all doom and gloom though for the logistics industry, as we are still in the beginning stages of disruption hitting the market. As Mr. Ramez Naam, the Co-Chair Energy & Environmental Systems at Singularity University sees it, there’s a path forward for many industries in the fact that using cleaner energy sources is becoming both cheaper and easier to implement into business operations.

“We all want cheap energy. Given the choice of two ways to light our cities, heat or cool our buildings, or drive our industry, we’ll choose the cheaper options. Clean energy used to be much more expensive than traditional energy. But the exponential improvements in clean energy prices have changed that equation. Now in the sunniest and windiest places in the world, solar and wind are the cheapest energy. And electric vehicles – once a joke – are on the verge of being the cheapest and most exciting vehicles everywhere,” said Mr. Naam.

As long as the price is right, most people would obviously prefer all industries to transition over to using clean energy. Humanity benefits from less pollution and less climate change, and businesses benefit from having access to cheaper power. It’s a win-win for mostly everyone, and while we’re not yet to the point where clean energy can completely replace traditional energy consumption in the market, we are continuing to edge closer and closer to that becoming a reality.

Mr. Naam said, “Clean energy will replace most fossil fuel energy. We know we can get to solar and wind and hydro producing, say, 80% of electricity would come from clean, renewable sources. How do we get the last 20%? We’re still working on that. We know electric cars can replace fossil fuel cars. How do we deal with jet aviation? We’re still working on that as well, but this is a huge step in the right direction.”

“To stay competitive in the new clean market, every company in every industry needs to think more about how they take advantage of their data, about how they provide rapidly the offering to consumers and about how they build effective networks and platforms. This applies to electricity production and transport industry as well as to any other industry. One concern that normally permeates these types of discussions are the jobs and what will the employees that are currently working in traditional energy organizations do.

As Mr. Naam describes, “The future is in clean energy and so are the jobs.”

“It’s certainly time for anyone in the energy industry to think about new skills and new business opportunities for the future! Energy is going to continue to be a multi trillion-dollar business and that won’t change. But coal and oil are going to be disrupted while solar, wind, and EVs are going to soar. That’s the future of the jobs in this sector.”

To keep up on these issues and more, Mr. Naam will be speaking at the SingularityU Thailand Summit on 19-20th of June 2018. The summit brings together the world’s leading experts of exponentially accelerating technologies together with Thailand’s and Southeast Asia (SEA)’s leaders to provide knowledge and insights necessary to stay ahead in an exponentially changing world. More information about the summit can be found at http://www.singularityuthailandsummit.org/

Mr. Naam concluded, “Change is happening so quickly now so it’s hard to keep track of everything that’s happening in whatever industry you’re in and at the same time paying attention in all the adjacent industries. SingularityU Thailand Summit will blow your mind with innovations and disruptions happening in every field of technology and industry. This summit can help you to survive the disruptions caused by these technologies and come out stronger on the other side.”