The trend of Sharing Economy refers to an ecosystem in which users (businesses and consumers) temporarily share, rent, or borrow assets or services instead of buying and owning them. This peer-to-peer system is typically facilitated by digital platforms that help connect supply and demand (for example, a platform connects owners of underutilized assets with people who want to use those assets).
The sharing economy enables businesses and consumers to reduce risk, achieve greater flexibility, cut costs, and become more sustainable. Over the past decade, sharing economy platforms have benefited from increasing digitization and brought about a shift in the way we view the procurement and use of assets and services. The best-known providers are B2C sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Turo, where private individuals can rent out their apartment or car to other people for a limited period of time. However, B2B companies have now also recognized the opportunities of sharing economy platforms – take, for example, Xometry, a B2B platform for manufacturing services. This means a growing number of organizations are offering platforms for sharing resources, services, facilities, and more with other companies.
The general principles of the sharing economy offer extensive, replicable opportunities in logistics, but we here at DHL have yet to see revolutionary industry-changing solutions take off and be realized within the next 5 years as previously anticipated. This is why the Sharing Economy trend is positioned further out in this edition of the Logistics Trend Radar compared to the previous edition.