The supply chain evolution in APAC and the importance of leveraging AI to enhance resilience

Monday 19 February 2024 08:19 CET | Editor: Diana Lupuleac | Interview

William Xiong, Senior Vice President of Cainiao Group, talks about the supply chain evolution in APAC and the importance of leveraging AI to enhance resilience.


What technologies have revolutionised the logistics industry in the last years? 

While the traditional logistics ecosystem is often vulnerable to gaps and disruption, the advent of Generative AI (GenAI) could act as a unifying factor to achieve a more holistic value chain. Today, the application of cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI) in logistics scenarios have been huge game changers, creating efficiencies and productivity boosts previously unimaginable. With a projected market growth of 5.25% annually between 2022 and 2027, the logistics industry in Asia-Pacific (APAC) needs to capitalise on new technologies available to stay ahead of the curve.

How can logistics operators maximise the adoption of GenAI technologies to drive industry competitiveness? 

Amid surging ecommerce logistics demand, logistics operators have embraced digitalisation to scale their operations and elevate customer experiences more efficiently. Out of the available technologies, GenAI becomes pivotal in facilitating the processing of an exponentially growing volume and demand, allowing logistics operators and their customers to better access the global digital economy. 

For example, GenAI can optimise decision-making processes by providing actionable insights. It is already delivering significant improvements across routine logistics operations in areas like demand forecasting for ecommerce logistics needs, delivery route optimisation, and more, complementing the workforce to enhance overall efficiency and productivity. As logistics operators integrate AI into existing systems as part of their digital transformation journey, this will free up resources to allow them to focus on other critical aspects that can drive growth and increase competitiveness.

What is the potential impact of GenAI on the logistics talent pool in APAC? 

Partially attributed to general stereotypes about the nature of the industry and workforce, such as perceptions of it being labour-intensive, the APAC logistics market continues to struggle with talent attraction and retention. Beyond driving smarter supply chain management, GenAI will be an indispensable asset in revolutionising talent development and retention. By streamlining workflows and empowering employees with more strategic work, GenAI fosters a greater sense of fulfilment within the modern workforce. In the same thread, employees can stay abreast of the latest technologies and serve as competitive participants in the digital economy. At industry level, GenAI can elevate logistics jobs. Not only do we witness the emergence of new jobs, such as prompt engineers, but businesses are also exploring ways to diversify their workforce to remain future-ready and resilient. When managed responsibly, GenAI has the potential to redefine work and revitalise the logistics talent pool.

How is GenAI expected to further impact the future of supply chains in APAC? 

In the APAC supply chain market, GenAI alone is expected to expand at the fastest rate between 2023 and 2032. As such, logistics operators must embrace it as a strategic necessity to stay ahead and effectively navigate the evolving supply chain landscape. GenAI’s multifaceted capabilities have the potential to revolutionise supply chain operations by making them agile, efficient, and customer centric. It empowers decision-makers, streamlines training processes, and acts as a catalyst in forging new digital frontiers, all while optimising logistics and ensuring compliance. 

It is without a doubt that this emerging technology will play a leading role in the future of supply chains and logistics operators, and those that are adaptable in leveraging new technologies will stand to gain a significant competitive advantage.


This editorial piece was first published in The Paypers' Cross-Border Payments and Ecommerce Report 2023–2024, which taps into the fast-growing cross-border market and provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments that are pivotal in this space, being the ultimate source of information for ecommerce businesses interested in expanding globally. 

William Xiong, Senior Vice President, Cainiao Group

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Keywords: cross-border logistics, artificial intelligence, generative AI, IOT, Augmented Reality, digitalisation
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Cainiao
Countries: Asia
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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