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Driving the future of transport

A collection of insights from McKinsey’s Digital and Travel, Logistics & Infrastructure practices to help decision makers advance technological change.

Digital & Analytics Topics

The Evolution of Digital Twins

Featured Insights


Back to the future? Airline sector poised for change post-COVID-19

– As they look beyond the pandemic, airlines need to grapple with five new realities—and devise strategies to adapt.

Getting the price right in logistics

– Reimagining the pricing cycle can be the most impactful lever for profitability in the logistics sector, and five steps to reform... the entire pricing cycle can maximize the value.

Using analytics to get European rail maintenance on track

– By harnessing data and analytics, European rail-infrastructure operators can deliver better performance at a lower cost.



Trying to boost corporate travel sales? Five questions for airline executives

– As airlines try to hasten the recovery of the highly profitable business travel segment, they should steer clear of five common... sales pitfalls.

Redesigning the design department

– The best corporate design departments are transforming from fortified castles into vibrant town squares.

Spain’s travel sector can’t afford to wait to recover. What can stakeholders do?

– Unless steps are taken to stimulate recovery, more than $300 billion and 4.4 million jobs could be in jeopardy.

Airlines and debt: Dealing with the long-term burden of the pandemic

– At IATA’s World Financial Symposium, Alex Dichter provides three actions to de-lever airlines’ balance sheets.

China’s travel sector is undergoing a nonlinear recovery: What should companies do?

– Our latest survey of Chinese-traveler sentiment indicates there’s no straight path to recovery. We suggest three areas travel... companies can focus on to succeed.

Airline data: What next beyond crisis response?

– Airlines used a wealth of new data sources in 2020. Strategy should now replace adrenaline as the fuel for decisions around data... adoption and usage.

Will airline hubs recover from COVID-19?

– Connecting traffic has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. We believe the hub model will remain relevant postcrisis, but airlines... will need to update their operations and network strategies.

What can other countries learn from China’s travel recovery path?

– In May, we asked how much the world could learn from China’s postpandemic travel recovery. Now, we explore where lessons... from the latest data from China may be relevant for other countries.

Ready for check-in? Lessons from the German travel recovery

– A new report provides insights on how the travel industry can cope with shifts in demand patterns due to COVID-19.

China’s travel recovery gains steam: How families are planning their summer vacations

– McKinsey’s latest China traveler survey shows a strong desire among Chinese families to resume their travel plans.

A new approach in tracking travel demand

– The scale of the current crisis in airlines is unprecedented. To recover, the industry will need better data on where and when... demand is likely to rebound.

Walk before you fly—capturing the digital opportunity in airlines

– A focused approach to digitization can help airlines create value faster than overambitious transformations do.

Advanced analytics in hospitality

– Digital technologies are creating value and rearranging roles in the travel industry. Here’s how industry leaders are profiting... from the change.



E-commerce: At the center of profitable growth in consumer goods

– Winning North American consumer goods companies are fundamentally rethinking their capabilities and operating models to meet the... evolving needs of consumers and customers.

How distributors can self-disrupt to win in the new digital world

– Distributors can learn new strategies to make them effective in a world with increasingly powerful digital players.

Logistics Disruptors: A shared digital platform for US–Mexico logistics

– The inaugural installment of the Logistics Disruptors series spotlights Nuvocargo founder Deepak Chhugani, whose digital platform... syncs up the disparate fragments of the US–Mexico trade route.

India’s postpandemic logistics sector: The need for technological change

– COVID-19 has reinforced the case for long-awaited structural reforms, but implementing them could be difficult.

Is the world up to the challenge of mass COVID-19 vaccination?

– Amid the unforeseen effects of the pandemic on at-risk and lower-income communities, governments and organizations around the... world must convene to ensure effective distribution of newly developed vaccines.

A fresh approach to logistics forecasting in 2021

– Ninety-one percent of surveyed executives acknowledge that forecasting in 2021 needs to look different. We outline one potential... approach.

Data will decide success in the next normal of bulk and tanker shipping

– COVID-19 and commodity-related trends are likely to depress medium-term demand, but companies that can leverage deep market insights... will have the opportunity to outperform in the postcrisis economy.

US freight after COVID-19: A bumpy road to the next normal

– Our new research foresees a difficult recovery of up to four years, with some pockets of growth. Freight and logistics companies... will need to adapt.

Global freight flows after COVID-19: What’s next?

– COVID-19 will likely affect trade more profoundly than any other recent crisis. Leaders with a well-informed perspective on potential... trade scenarios can begin their recovery from a position of strength.

US freight after COVID-19: What’s next?

– The pandemic has scrambled customer demand, further muddying a complicated picture. New research highlights four forces to watch.

Startup funding in logistics

– A new report looks at the impact of new money in an old industry—and what it means for incumbents, startups, and investors.

Air-freight forwarders move forward into a digital future

– Digital challengers can’t replace every step in the value chain, at least for now. But they will nonetheless transform it... over time.

Air freight 2025: Agility, speed, and partnerships

– Companies in the sector must become as agile as possible, maintain air freight’s speed advantage, and deepen their partnerships.



Digitizing Europe’s railways: A call to action

– The future of train traffic is digital. To accelerate the digitization of Europe’s railways—and thus secure the future... of its railroad industry—stakeholders must change the way the industry operates.

‘Prepare for the marathon and be ready for the course to change’: An interview with the Boston Logan Airport CEO

– Massachusetts Port Authority CEO Lisa Wieland discusses why the contactless passenger journey is here to stay and how she’s building... agility and flexibility for her organization.

Other Insights


Digital transformation on the CEO agenda

– Successful digital transformations may not be as elusive as you think. The best CEOs know up front what success looks like—and... what stands in their way.

Tech talent tectonics: Ten new realities for finding, keeping, and developing talent

– Large incumbents can compete successfully for tech talent—but only if they’re ready to completely rethink their entire... HR approach. Tech talent think and act differently.

Innovative and practical applications of the metaverse

– There are already a number of use cases in the metaverse in the industrial, consumer goods, and retail sectors, among others,... but the future offers even greater promise.

The data-driven enterprise of 2025

– Rapidly accelerating technology advances, the recognized value of data, and increasing data literacy are changing what it means... to be “data driven.”

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