Publications

- June 1, 2017: Vol. 11, Number 06

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Know your customer: Logistics and the rise of the machines — will returns be terminated?

by Bill Page

The advances affecting logistics operations throughout Europe are significant. This is true for both the hardware that picks, sorts and delivers and the software that organises — and learns.
Most media attention on this sector is focused on the “headline grabbers” like drones, but in isolation these may not significantly impact that which matters to investors. Questions that investors should be asking of new technologies, and of technological progress in general, are:
•    Will this have an impact on the amount of space required?
•    Will this have an impact on what that space looks like?
•    Will this influence the optimum location?
•    Will this influence the length of lease?
•    Will this influence obsolescence and depreciation?
And, of course:
•    How will this impact my investment performance?
Economic drivers of change
There are structural differences driving t

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