Reefknot Investments, a venture capital fund backed by Singapore investment firm Temasek, has set up a think-tank with four other industry players to spearhead changes in the supply chain and logistics industry.
They said disruptions resulting from changes in consumer behaviour and the issue of sustainability will be some of the key themes they want the new establishment to focus on in the next 12 months.
Representatives from Reefknot, Switzerland-based transport and logistic firm Kuehne + Nagel and Singapore Government-owned firm SGInnovate, as well as supply chain expert Wolfgang Lehmacher, signed a memorandum of understanding in Singapore yesterday.
The other core founding member is Mr Kong Wai Wei, a global supply chain director with Starbucks Corporation, who is taking part in the initiative as an individual member.
Besides contributing expert opinions through forums, expert panels and thought leadership papers, the think-tank will work with start-ups, established companies and scholars to promote the learning and sharing of knowledge.
Mr Pang Heng Soon, head of venture building at SGInnovate, said global venture capital investments in logistics totalled almost US$20 billion (S$27.5 billion) over the past 10 years, with 80 per cent taking place "in the last five years or less".
"It's still new enough for winners to emerge on the vendor side - the suppliers of technological solutions - as well as on the user side - the logistics players which are looking for such solutions for higher efficiencies and effectiveness," he said.
For Mr Simon Fich, head of global corporate development at Kuehne + Nagel, the logistics sector is essentially about trade networks within and between countries.
He is most interested in tech applications that can help solve real-world problems. To him, what is truly disruptive in the sector today is not technology, but consumer behaviour. "Consumer behaviour is driving e-commerce and e-commerce is having a significant impact on our business," he noted.
He thinks over-consumption would be a good area for start-ups to look into. Another key area would be how start-ups can support and influence the development of a sustainable supply chain, he added.