Viewpoint: Co-creation is the real road to innovation in the logistics sector

Viewpoint: Co-creation is the real road to innovation in the logistics sector

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In Viewpoint we ask experts to share their thoughts on the role of technology in logistics and emerging trends. This week, Machiel Bode of ING discusses, from a banker’s point of view, how fintech is affecting the logistics industry.


Machiel Bode, Sector Banker at ING for Transport & Logistics shares his thoughts on how fintech companies have claimed their role in the logistics industry, how the industry has arrived at its current state and how ING plays a role in the developments.

From a banker’s perspective, I see a lot of changes happening in the financial side of the logistics industry. Over the last few years, companies have had to deal with longer payment terms, pressure on their profitability, decreasing margins and shifts in the division of power.

As a result of these developments, the first large logistics service providers on the lookout for new opportunities shifted their focus to the management of financial streams. They concentrated on the reduction of costs and, as a result, created the need for new forms of supply chain financing.

Supply chain finance is actually an umbrella term for all kinds of forms of financing between companies in a supply chain, which are aimed at improving the financial position of all parties involved by reducing costs, financial risks and spreading value.

New players are also arising in the financial world, in which ING is active. A lot of these so-called fintech companies arrive from outside the industry, looking to capture a slice of market share. These fintech companies bring game-changing, specialized financial solutions to the market, supporting logistics companies with, for instance, the financing of investments through crowdfunding.

For example, there are also fintech companies that apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess credit applications. These companies combine traditional credit ratings with extended analyses of tens of thousands of different signals, including a company’s language use on Facebook and the timing of these posts.

As far as I know, the current, active fintech companies focus mostly on the bottom part of the logistics market. This doesn’t come as a big surprise, since the smaller logistics players are the companies that have trouble getting financing or purchasing and managing advanced IT-systems. Therefore, fintech companies use smart solutions, focused on ownership instead of usage, to serve this part of the market.

As a financial services provider, ING responds to these market developments by collaborating with important parties (providers and customers) in the logistics industry and with fintechs (and other innovative startups). This way, ING works towards finding new ways to make supply chains more insightful, accessible, transparent and financially attractive. In these market developments, ING assumes a sharing role, stimulating innovation with co-creation.

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ING’s blockchain team has announced a major breakthrough that will help overcome one of the biggest obstacles to using blockchain in financial services: protecting data privacy. The new code, known as a “zero-knowledge range proof” (ZKRP) is 10 times more efficient than existing technologies designed to keep information on a ledger private.

Machiel Bode is a Sector Banker at ING for Transport & Logistics since 01-01-2000. Experienced Logistics specialist with a demonstrated history of working for the transportation/trucking/ logistics industry. Skilled in Operations Management, Risk Management, Management, Banking, and Logistics Management. Strong operations professional with a Master focused in Law from Universiteit Utrecht.