Article by Kevin O'Meara from 10x Logistics
have written about 3D printing many times and its impact on the transportation industry (read: Soon a lot less will need to be transported). Of course, this is a way away and most people I talk to aren't overly worried about it. "Not in my lifetime" is what I hear most. This reminds me of the discussions people had in the '80s when we said email will take over communications. And, we all know what happened there.
Now we see Nokia is issuing standards so people can print their own covers using 3D printers. This has massive implications. First, a lot less product will need to be shipped. Yes, I know these are small but soon it will be bigger and bigger product. "Designed in California" will be printed and the item will be made on the spot and on demand. Transportation demand will decrease dramatically.
Second, it truly will mean "mass customization". Mass customization has been a dream for a long time where people have predicted the benefits of large scale batch production coming to products which are made for a consumer of one. In effect, this will be what 3D printing does.
Finally, it will put a lot of manufacturers out of business in total. I essentially will make the product myself and will have no need of a "conversion" partner - i.e., the manufacturer.
The big winner in all this could be FEDEX and their acquisition of Kinkos many years ago could be a fantastic application for this. Imagine the following the next time I want a case for my iPhone:
DHL in the USA; A mature planning organization; John Wagner blog; Next week's 3PL Summit, CSCO Forum and Big Data Supply Chain Conference
Frank Appel, the CEO of Deutsche Post DHL, was presented last night with this year’s John McCloy Award by the American Council of Germany in recognition of his work on behalf of transatlantic business relations
Article by John Wagner Jr from Wagner Logistics published on June 6th