How e-commerce connects our world

By David Canavan, FedEx Express Europe

E-commerce is changing the world right in front of our eyes. Despite all the progress, one thing is certain: while e-commerce has fueled a revolution in how we shop, it has only been made possible by the sophisticated global logistics network companies like FedEx have created over the last few decades.

That was just one conclusion at the lively discussion held recently at Air Cargo Europe, the world’s largest annual gathering of the cargo and logistics community, where I had the honour of joining one of the panel discussions. The wide-ranging discussion focused on how innovations like the ‘internet of things’ and industry 4.0 are changing the world of logistics. 

E-commerce is one of the key forces shaping our industry: Worldwide retail e-commerce sales are approaching $2 trillion and projected to exceed $4 trillion by 2020. Moving all these goods around the world requires a global physical transportation network. More than 40 years ago, FedEx planted the seeds for this network, which has since grown to reach more than 220 countries and territories around the world, connecting more than 99% of the global GDP.

A virtual buying and selling network must be rooted in the physical – goods purchased online need to physically arrive at a destination. FedEx laid the foundation for the development years ago, and people and companies use it every day to reach markets around the world.

Finally, there are more people on the planet, and they are increasingly connected. By bridging the physical and virtual worlds, logistics providers create enormous opportunities. We are thrilled to live in such exciting times for our industry. 

David Canavan is Senior Vice President Network and Hub Operations for FedEx Express Europe. In this role, he oversees Express and TNT hubs and gateways, Clearance, as well as the Air Network and the European Road Network (ERN).