Given the digital age as an established fact, as well as the ageing trend of world population, technologically-advanced services need to adapt to older generation of consumers, also known as Grey Power.
Decades of improving life expectancy and falling birth rates are deeply changing the age structure of society.
Today around a quarter of the European population is over 60 and the number will rise to more than a third by 2050. Considering that the first wave of digital newborns will become part of the senior segment in a few years, it is clear that Grey Power logistics will have an exponential growth over time.
Ageing population will demand a new set of services, namely value-added last mile solutions such as meals-on-wheels or home delivery of online shopping (including food).
Moreover, today’s process of collecting a prescription and picking up medicines at a local pharmacy – thanks to scheduled temperature-controlled delivery – could be entirely digitized in the future.
It is no coincidence that Grey Power logistics has effectively become part of the developing logistics trends for the next few years. Therefore, it looks like we are going to see a significant increase in the services offered in this area. Companies are making considerable investments to answer the resulting challenges of this demographic development, concentrating on key competitive factors like user-friendliness, speed, visibility, quality and reduced costs.
3PLs see potential new business opportunities, e.g. transportation of elderly, sick, and disabled people, proactive supply of convenience and healthcare goods based on interaction with wearable devices and smart home infrastructure. The installation of home automation technologies grants further expansion to the logistics industry as well.
On a general level, the ageing population entails the necessity of creating solutions that can guarantee a balance between times of care and working schedule. The point is to protect both the employee who wants/needs to continue to work in periods of sickness (his/hers or concerning relatives), but also to assure the companies in the availability of their workforce. The ageing of workers could also imply a rethinking of the organization of jobs – with flexible solutions like telework.
In the logistics sector employers shall look at the situation from another point of view: Grey power workers involved in warehousing operations could take advantage of bionic equipment such as exoskeletons, to support their manual handling activities, particularly for heavy and repetitive tasks.
Augmented reality, adopted for vision picking, allows intelligent and hands-free operations through smart glasses, helping to increase productivity. The goal here is to adapt work tasks to physical capacity, combining the social and health requirements with the striving search for competitiveness and efficiency.