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Automation is finding its way

Autonomous vehicles and process connections through Logistics 4.0 are the biggest trends in Slovakia.

Online retailer Amazon opened its new returns centre in Sereď.(Source: Jana Liptáková)

The industrial world is entering a new era full of automation and the use of informational technologies to replace people in carrying out simple activities. This digital revolution is bringing about a lot of change and innovation in the logistics business.

While logistics is one of the most important parts of supply and trading chains, this sector has to cope with higher flexibility. The current technological revolution is changing global chains and making the world more ‘connected’, logistics processes more effective and distances ‘shorter’, according to Dietmar Schmickl, managing director of DB Schenker in Slovakia.

“Increasing transport volumes, the shift of global trade flows and the fast-growing trend of economically efficient transport chains can only be faced by intelligent digitalisation,” Schmickl told The Slovak Spectator.

Read also:Innovations in logistics help fight competition

Now, the Slovak logistics market is highly influenced by the development of other European markets. This means that both technological and process innovations, proven to be effective in some countries, are quickly being implemented in other countries.

“Innovations cannot be seen at a national level alone, but on a bigger scale on the European and worldwide level,” Schmickl said.

Behind the Czechs

While most logistics companies operating in the V4 region use innovations from other countries, the Czech Republic is the largest regional innovator, according to experts. This is because there are a large number of German factories and e-shop warehouses as well as a 3-percent unemployment rate in the country, said Marek Cagala, area sales manager for Slovakia at SSI Schaefer Systems International.

“In Slovakia and other V4 countries, the trend of innovations has been rising for large and medium-sized companies, especially in the last year,” Cagala told The Slovak Spectator, adding that in western Europe automation has become a necessity.

Peter Jánoši, director of the P3 industrial real estate developer for Slovakia, thinks that Slovakia itself is a competitive country thanks to its central location and connection to main travelling routes. However, the country’s disadvantages include the size and liquidity of the market.

Read more: Why are logistics companies automiting their processes? What innovations have the logistics firms introduced? What is Logistics 4.0?

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