Sustainability and digitalization – these two topics are currently the most important drivers in the field of logistics. This is the conclusion that followed the successful premiere of Thesen am Tresen – Fixed Logistics Talk During the German Logistics Conference in Berlin. intralogistics company based in Hamburg resident He already plans to continue coordinating hybrid talk shows for 2022.
Globalization, digitization, environment, automation and security. These five trend topics were the focus of 40-minute talks for investment decision makers and logistics enthusiasts during the 38th edition of the German Logistics Conference (20-22 October) organized by the German Logistics Association (BVL) e. V. at the Intercontinental Hotel. For this new format, he still transforms the gourmet restaurant “Hugos” on the 14th floor of the hotel into a recording studio with the Berlin skyline as a backdrop. Those who did not attend the Logistics Summit were able to follow online segments live hosted by logistic journalists Anita Würmser and Thilo Jörgl.
“We have received a very positive response both in the recording studio and on social media,” said Frank Muller, Senior Vice President of Brand Management, Sales and Service Direction at STILL EMEA. “The audience was not only delighted with the fact that well-known experts in business and science frankly analyzed the current situation in the field of logistics and defended their theses. The quiet discussion of pointed theories in the pub also proved to be a very interesting and interesting format.”
Among the theses discussed are:
- Can we do without China? How is the Corona crisis changing value chains?
- Anything but exhaust fumes: This is what a forklift truck of the future looks like.
- The warehouse is dead. Long live the warehouse! How artificial intelligence is changing logistics.
- Digital dump is still dump: How to avoid automating the wrong way.
- Mostly cloudy: How cloud apps prevent accidents in the repository.
“After the successful premiere of these televised conversations, we decided to continue coordinating. Where we will create the tape again and which theses we want to discuss will be announced in 2022,” Muller says.
The sessions on digitization and automation were particularly well received. Kevin Coffs, CEO of Hermes Fulfillment, emphasized the importance of operating high-performance logistics for the economic success of a CEP service provider. “The end customer does not forgive broken promises,” Coffs stressed. For this reason, Hermes Fulfillment is planning more investments in digital tools but also in several automated logistics centers here in Germany. The time-consuming preparations are already underway.
“The main obstacle to innovative security concepts based on biometric data is data protection legislation,” said Ansgar Bergmann, Director of Technology and Innovation – CTR, CTO Project Director at KION Group. With regard to digital projects, Eric Wersing, vice president of global innovation at DB Schenker, warned that companies are minimizing the damage caused by hacker attacks: “Without data security, there is no business these days,” his thesis was.
Jakub Piotrowski, CIO/CDO at BLG Logistics took the cudgel to collaborate across companies on data projects because “digitization will be expensive and the algorithm will determine success.” Speaking of digitization, he appealed to companies to work together on simple software projects for economic reasons. In this context, he referred to the topic of open source, where each company does not go ahead with the same complex software projects, but instead backs away from already existing and accessible programming. This is why BLG Logistics has joined the Open Logistics Foundation.
In this context, Professor Dr. hc Michael ten Hompel, Executive Director of Fraunhofer IML, to the situation in the USA. A large part of the company’s assets that were created on the other side of the Atlantic in 2020 were intangible assets, such as patents, algorithms, and the like. This should be the way of thinking here in Germany as well. The world sees good prospects for European companies to lead in the field of material handling in the future.
“Europeans are at the forefront of internal logistics,” said Professor Tin Humpel. In his view, more companies should put swarm intelligence and simulation-based artificial intelligence at the top of their agendas.
Forming alliances and entering into partnerships – according to contract logistics expert Harald Seifert, this is also the right approach for logistics providers and shippers to achieve future success. In the globalization sequence, the Chairman of the Seifert Logistics Group’s advisory board stated that due to supply chain disruptions such as epidemics, strikes or environmental disasters, business-critical items must increasingly be produced and stockpiled again in Europe – even if this is more expensive.
Ralph Doster, a member of the Board of Directors for Setlog, agreed only partially. He predicted that some sectors, such as the fashion industry, would continue to produce goods largely in Asia. “This is the only way that importers and traders can continue to offer their goods at low prices and stay competitive,” Düster said.
In this context, Christine Mezger-Behan, Vice President of Logistics System at KION ITS EMEA, emphasized that dual supply is becoming increasingly important for supply chains. In her view, strategically important parts will increasingly be purchased in Europe in the future, while the remaining parts will be purchased in countries with lower wage levels: “Each industry must decide for itself what is bought in Europe and what is not,” Mezger Behan said. .
In addition to digitization, sustainability will also be a major issue in the global world of tomorrow. This was the content of the sequence on environment and climate. All experts agreed that the share of electric forklift trucks sold worldwide will continue to increase.
However, Daniel Koster, Warsteiner Group’s director of supply chain, doesn’t want to phase out combustion-engine forklift trucks from his fleet. For high-performance applications in the beverage industry in day and night operation, he considers his highly developed combustion engines to be more efficient than electric forklifts. However, like scientist Prof. Dr. Dr. Thorsten Schmidt of the Technical University of Dresden, he expects significantly more powerful energy storage systems to be put on the market in the coming years.
However, these should also remain accessible to everyone, says Koster. “We don’t need to show cases but we need use cases,” Coster demanded at the pub. Rolf Beckmann, Director of Engineering at Fiege Logistik Stiftung, added that the current development results of new battery types with sodium-ion technology are promising.
Anyone who missed the live broadcast can watch the recorded sessions Here.
The publication Gaining an Advantage Through (Digital) Values first appeared in Logistics Business® magazine.