Dachser, DB Schenker, duisport and Rhenus founded Open Logistics Corporation. The purpose of the non-profit foundation is to build a European open source community that aims to promote digitization in logistics and supply chain management based on open source and standardize logistics operations through actual standards. Not only is a technology initiative like this unique in the field of logistics to date, the founding members are also taking a leading role with regard to the future topic of open source.
“We want to push the digitization of logistics forward together. This is why open source is an important success factor for the entire logistics industry, and at the same time, a driver for coordinated operations in digital supply chains. We consider the open logistics enterprise to be the first step towards a platform economy Based on European legal standards and values.The founding members declared in a joint statement “It is a start and a call for the logistics sector to think about technology and processes together and to actively participate in the open source community.” Now it is about embedding open source in the logistics sector and implementing internal structures to work with hardware and software the interview.
The organization addresses all companies related to logistics and their IT developers. Through Open Logistics eV, the finance association, also founded in Berlin, it is open to new members from all areas of logistics, from industry, retail and services to freight forwarders and political organizations. Several companies have already announced their participation in the funding consortium, including AEB, BLG Logistics Group, GS1 Germany, Lobster Logistics Cloud and Bochum-based Setlog Holding, as well as associations such as Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung.
The core of the organization’s work is to operate the so-called Open Logistics Repository, a technology platform in which software and hardware interfaces are used as a reference for applications and components available as open source under a free license (license permitted). All tools and components will be free of charge for commercial applications to promote broad acceptance within the logistics sector. Companies may use them, for example, to expand their platforms or to set up new products and business models faster.
The open source approach ensures an open standard for digitizing logistics while providing a great degree of flexibility for individual customization. Companies that use open source are usually more productive, reduce costs and prevent association with proprietary software. Another advantage is that software solutions are not isolated, but all components are compatible, facilitating digital networks beyond company boundaries.
The main tasks of the organization also include the identification of collaborative projects to be included in the repository. It monitors the quality of open source software and ensures impartiality in its development. Furthermore, it provides corporate training on how to work with the platform.
The platform construction phase will take place next year. In Berlin, some open source projects have already been named, for example, the first open source digital consignment note (eCMR) as well as applications for the exchange of the digital load carrier or the AGV VDA 5050 interface. Added in the future.
At the establishment of the Foundation, members of the Board of Directors were appointed. Jochen Thewes (Chairman), DB Schenker CEO, Dr. Stefan Peters (Vice President), Rhenus Board Member, and Stefan Hoehm (Vice President), CDO at Dachser, have been elected to the Executive Board. The advisory board consists of Prof. Dr. hc Michael ten Hompel (Chairman), Fraunhofer IML Managing Director, and Marcus Bangin, CEO of duisport, as well as Jakub Piotrowski CIO/CDO of BLG Logistics Group.
The Open Logistics Foundation was launched by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML as part of the Silicon Economy Research Project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in the amount of €25 million. More than 150 researchers work on open source software and hardware infrastructure that enables companies to automate their business processes and securely deliver and use services and data across different platforms beyond corporate borders. Software and hardware built during the project’s lifespan through 2023 and developments from the Open Logistics Foundation community will form the basis of the Open Logistics Foundation repository.
“If we are to successfully digitize logistics, we have to conquer silo structures. Hardware and software from open source can and will make a huge contribution to this. The benefits are impressively simple: everyone uses the same shipping documents, for example, and everyone plans routes or They introduce tracking and tracing. In this regard, we want to jointly develop IT standards in logistics beyond company borders and make results accessible to everyone. This open source approach aims to replace individual investments in the digitization of goods. Every company will benefit from this.” Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Open Logistics Foundation
“Digitalization is not an end in itself. It beats interfaces and drives high-level goals like transparency, efficiency and sustainability. Above all, it must be economically viable and successful in the marketplace. 100 percent digital is not a dream, but our common future in more and more From use cases. The open source concept ensures an open standard for digitizing logistics processes while providing a high degree of flexibility for individual adaptations. By founding the Open Logistics Foundation, we have laid the foundation for the open source era in logistics.” Dr. Stefan Peters, Board Member of Rhenus SE & Co. KG, Vice President of the Open Logistics Foundation
Intelligent logistics depends on high-performance IT systems. This principle has been applied at Dachser for several decades and certainly will remain so. However, it doesn’t make sense to program each line of code yourself into a standard application. This is not economical and does not provide a competitive advantage. On the contrary, it often prevents pragmatic communication of partners and customers. Therefore, it is beneficial to all parties to the supply chain, if in the future, that the selected software components are freely available to all as open source and constantly updated via a neutral authority. Thus, open source becomes another important competitive factor, which is why we have supported the idea of the Open Logistics Foundation from the very beginning.” Stefan Home, Director of Development (CDO), Dachser SE, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Open Logistics Foundation
“The logistics sector must become software-driven to play a role in the upcoming platform economy and to determine its own future based on European legal standards and values. Digitization is the goal, and open source is the key to taking all businesses on this journey, regardless of size and sector. Dachser, DB Schenker, Duisport and Rhenus build the foundation with their donation to the non-profit Open Logistics Foundation. Now it’s about what the logistics industry is turning into.” Prof. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), Chair of the Advisory Board of the Open Logistics Foundation.
“Following the introduction of the Open Logistics Foundation, it was very quickly clear to the Port of Duisburg that we wanted to participate. The primary goals of our commitment are to engage in industry-wide dialogue, identify cross-cutting challenges, and create urgently needed standards to technologically facilitate cross-site collaboration. It provides us Pooling resources and themes is a unique opportunity to set realistic standards rather than create more monoliths Digitization of logistics can only be developed by working together Early participation of all stakeholders creates important internal structures and also promotes mutual exploration of current needs and necessities as well as identification of available resources “. Markus Bangin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport), and Member of the Advisory Board of the Open Logistics Foundation
About the company
The Open Logistics Foundation is a non-profit, operationally based organization based in Dortmund that promotes open source applications in the field of logistics. The foundation’s primary purpose is to build a European open source community to promote digitization in logistics and supply chain management based on open source and standardize logistics operations using de facto standards. The organization operates the repository, which is an open source software (OSS) and hardware (OSH) technology platform.
It makes interfaces, reference applications, and components available via open source under a free license (license permitted). It monitors the quality and security of open source tools and ensures impartiality in their development. Operating on the basis of European legal standards and values, the Open Logistics Foundation is independent and addresses IT developers and users from all areas of logistics.
The Open Logistics Foundation was launched by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) as part of the “Silicon Economy” project. The founding members are Dachser, D.B. Schenker, duisport and Rhenus; Other companies support the organization. The foundation is open to more members through its funding association Open Logistics eV