Ismaning, Germany — The Logistics Hall of Fame will soon have a new member. Amazon founder and internet pioneer Jeff Bezos has been elevated to the ranks of the world’s most famous logisticians. He has been honoured as a “revolutioniser of e-commerce and logistics”. Bezos will be officially inducted in a ceremony at the annual Logistics Hall of Fame Gala in the Erich Klausener Hall of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Berlin on November 9.
“Jeff Bezos has rewritten the history of logistics. His name is synonymous with successful e-commerce and a generation of entrepreneurs whose business models are based on algorithms and innovative logistics solutions. Had it not been for him, not much would have moved in logistics”, comments Anita Würmser, Executive Jury Chairperson of the Logistics Hall of Fame, on the final decision of the international expert jury.
Jeff Bezos can claim to have revolutionised logistics in the mail order sector. In the words of the jury, he was the first to realise that software and logistics are key to the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading. Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole. Almost any technological development is nowadays influenced by e-commerce and many innovations are geared exclusively towards e-commerce. Bezos also impressively demonstrated that innovative logistics make an important contribution to corporate success.
Bezos launched his entrepreneurial career in 1994 with his online-based book store, and turned “the biggest book store in the world” not only into “the biggest department store in the world” in a matter of a few years but also into a technology company. In 2016 Amazon had a turnover of more than 135bn US dollars. However, Bezos’ success is not based on the goods and services offered by his company. His recipe for success is the way the products are delivered to the customers. He replaced the push principle with a pull approach. While commerce used to only store a selection of products with sales statistics only evaluated after the event, the Internet provided real time insights into current product searches. Bezos was the first to use algorithms for the purpose of pre-estimate consumer desires and he covered the world with logistics centres in order to deliver almost any product cheaply, quickly and reliably to the customer.
Innovation is important for Bezos. Working by trial-and-error, Amazon tests new technological innovations almost on a daily basis in order to optimise the shopping process from customer order to parcel delivery. The Internet giant has been experimenting with drone delivery since 2013. The first logistics centre, where some 2,500 transport robots will support the centre’s staff, will open in Winsen, Germany, in September. Other successful examples for Bezos’ technology-focused approach are Amazon’s patented one-click order option based on stored credit card data, as well as even more convenient re-ordering via dash button.
He aims to expand the Amazon Global Supply Chain into a global logistics network in which the company will act as the mediator between merchant and customer, operating all elements of the global supply chain – from production of goods all the way to delivery to the front door. In his private life, Bezos is fascinated by aerospace and is currently working to make space travel possible for everyone.
Jeffrey Preston “Jeff” Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 12, 1964. He graduated in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton, launching his career in 1986 at Taiwanese mobile telecommunications company Fitel, followed by a positions at Bankers Trust and D.E. Shaw. The computer science graduate developed a computer system for the management of investment funds in the late 1980s. While working at Shaw, Bezos adjusted the existing computer systems to deal with hedge fund transactions. Bezos now employs more than 350,000 people.