- A new joint venture to invest in global logistics startups was born Monday out of a partnership between Kuehne + Nagel and Temasek, an investment firm based in Singapore.
- The venture will target early-stage companies with promising developments in big data and predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and robotics, according to a press release.
- The project seeks to find and develop technologies promising to "transform traditional business models in logistics," boost efficiency and enhance value propositions for customers.
Kuehne + Nagel's strategy here is far from a secret.
Investing in younger companies on the brink of logistics breakthroughs has long been an industry tactic to boost growth and innovation. In fact, a look back at the news shows joint ventures, startup incubators and strategic partnerships are becoming an industry norm when it comes to finding disruptive technology.
Now, with a tax overhaul freeing up cash in the United States, and a strong global economy to back it up, we can likely expect investments and acquisitions to accelerate in 2018 — especially in the logistics sector.
Already, Kuehne + Nagel is rumored to be looking for opportunities in Asia. Eyes also remain on XPO Logistics to go on another buying spree (it earmarked $8 billion for that purpose last August), and few can deny the buying power held by giants like UPS, FedEx and DHL. The question is: who will launch the first spree?
Kuehne + Nagel's goal of "transforming" business models shows we are at a bit of a crossroads in the industry. Watching what startups big players invest in will be an early indicator for the change that is to come.