THE logistics industry, currently one of the greatest winners in the 2020 pandemic world, is under enormous threat going into 2021 according to Robert Garbett, an advisor on the advanced capabilities of unmanned systems (drones).

“The logistics sector is at a major crossroad… and the real winners and losers will more accurately be defined in the next couple of years” said Mr Garbett.

“This year’s lock-downs and now the Christmas rush of pent-up demand have provided virtually all logistics companies with a rapid accelerator for growth, and most have fared extremely well.

“In 2021 and beyond, there will be a massive division,” he says, between those in the logistics sector who have recognised the need to embrace new technologies and those who have “simply ridden the wave”.

Mr Garbett said companies need to employ the latest technologies to safeguard against cyber espionage, and attackers targeting their supply chains.

“Last month’s report by IBM’s threat intelligence taskforce highlighted how hackers appeared to be trying to disrupt or steal information about the key processes to keep the newly approved COVID vaccines cold as they travel from factories to hospitals and doctors’ offices,” Mr Garbett said.

“The potential for disruption of supply chains is enormous.

“Until recently, logistics organisations have felt they have been relatively safe… but the stakes are getting higher as the need for more sophisticated logistics services, such as unmanned (drone) conveyance is increasingly in demand.”

There are more than 194,000 logistics enterprises in the UK, with 2.6m employed in the wider industry. The logistics sector has a £1 trillion turnover, contributing £130 billion Gross Value Added to the UK economy, which is 10.2% of the contribution to the UK non-financial business economy.