CH Robinson plans to invest $1 billion in advanced technologies and talent over the next five years in an effort to “shape the future of the logistics ecosystem,” according to Bob Biesterfeld, the company’s president and CEO.
The new commitment will double its previous investment of $1 billion over the last 10 years, the company said.
“We are a platform-driven solutions company with technology built by and for supply chain experts, powered by our information advantage,” Biesterfeld said. “It’s when these tools are leveraged by the smartest and most relentless experts—who really understand and are committed to our customers’ business—that we create extreme value in the supply chain for our clients’ benefit.”
Speaking at the recent Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals EDGE Conference in Anaheim CA, Biesterfeld said only companies that successfully leverage technology and talent will compete and win in the future in the supply chain marketplace, which already is experiencing the “profound” impact of big data and digital tech, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics.
“CH Robinson solves logistics problems for companies across the globe and across industries, from the simple to the most complex,” Biesterfeld said. “We put the customer at the center of everything we do—listening, understanding their needs and using our expertise to solve their most complex logistics challenges.”
During his remarks, Biesterfeld also shared specific feedback and actionable insights from more than 3,000 shippers, both domestic and international, highlighting their evolving priorities and needs. Among some of the research findings:
- Technology is more important than ever, with 88% of shippers who contract to purchase freight saying technology is extremely or very important when choosing a logistics provider.
- Visibility and predictive tools are external logistics providers’ most important assets, with 65% of customers saying they either have or are planning on implementing real-time visibility and insight tools in the next two years.
- Local expertise is key, with 83% of shippers saying a logistics partner with local and global expertise is essential to their business needs.
The results from its customer research demonstrate how important are new capabilities, visibility into supply chains and deep expertise in local and global needs, CH Robinson maintained.
Biesterfeld also highlighted findings and identified trends in the industry to demonstrate how his company will continue to invest in innovation that helps its customers win. These trends include:
- Peope will drive technology. Despite new tools and technologies, people will become more important to the supply chains of the future. CH Robinson’s research showed how shippers value local expertise, and as technology accelerates and global sourcing grows, the ability to connect them and understand how supply chains really function will be critical.
- To go global, we must first go local. As the world becomes more connected, businesses are accessing the global market like never before—and they need the kind of global expertise and experience that CH Robinson provides. The kind of complexity that global commerce creates is very challenging. Having a partner with a global network of local experts who can act as an extension of a customer’s team is a significant competitive advantage.
- Investments in infrastructure are key. In our global economy, even the best ideas cannot win without first winning on supply chain. One recent study found nearly 80% of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth greater than the average within their industries. That can’t happen without great infrastructure.
“We’re excited about the future and look forward to continuing to innovate,” Biesterfeld said. “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.”