transport logistic is the world’s biggest logistics trade fair. This year, the Munich event welcomed 60,000 visitors from 120 countries. They came to find out about the latest products, services, and solutions in rail, road, nautical, and air transportation. logistik aktuell traveled to Bavaria to learn more about the issues that formed the main focus of the trade fair.
Topic 1: Digitalization on every level
The issue of digitalization was everywhere at this year’s transport logistic event. Almost every single stand showcased creative ideas and products that make use of digital solutions such as apps. German’s transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt summarized the importance of this development: “Logistics is at the start of the most exciting innovative phase of the past few decades. This will see the sector’s importance increase. Developments such as online retail, Industry 4.0, and integration between objects mean there will be more goods, more transportation needs, and more logistics services.”
DB Schenker also presented visitors with fascinating insights into the world of digital logistics, for example Drive4Schenker. The digital freight marketplace based on technology supplied by US start-up uShip has the goal of intelligently simplifying and optimizing the direct freight business. The target for the end of 2017 is to place 5,000 transportation orders with providers every single day.
Another highlight at the DB Schenker stand was the Smartbox product family. Sensors make the remote monitoring of key parameters during transportation possible, covering position, temperature, and humidity. This gives customers the security and transparency that everyone expects today from international supply chains.
Topic 2: Artificial intelligence
Companies such as Google are already focusing a huge level of resources on artificial intelligence. The logistics sector is also weighing up the potential of this promising form of technology, something visible in the results of the 2017 LOGISTIC Trend Index presented at the trade fair. These show that experts from the logistics sector are very interested in autonomous vehicles, with 64% believing that this development will play a key role in the future of successful transportation services. The survey also revealed that 70% of logistics companies want to investigate the market opportunities for artificial intelligence.
Ideas for deployment were already being discussed at the trade fair: For example, artificial intelligence could be used to help vehicles learn about their surroundings, such as identifying when pedestrians are at risk. AI could also manage route planning in real time, something that could benefit overland transportation and CEP operators equally.
Topic 3: E-mobility
E-mobility was another issue that was high on everyone’s list at transport logistic. Of particular importance to CEP companies is the question of how they can make viable use of environmentally friendly engines in their everyday business.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics hosted an e-mobility discussion in the truest sense of the word. Participants spoke about existing problems, such as battery times, as well as suitable approaches to solutions. Alongside technical issues, they also discussed political considerations associated with the topic. One question they looked at was when e-mobility is and is not environmentally friendly: If the electricity for an engine is generated by a coal-fired power plant, for example, the positive environmental balance is negligible. Against this backdrop, there is not only a need to get electric delivery vehicles ready for series production, but politicians need to keep working on the changeover to green energy as well.
“Transport trade fair: The focal issues at the lead logistics trade fair in Munich. Digitalization AI E-mobility”
transport logistic: What will be put into action?
This year’s transportation logistic trade fair concentrated on the issues of digitalization, e-mobility, and artificial intelligence. Virtually every participating firm showcased a digital solution or technological innovation. However, scores of these interesting ideas begged one significant question: Which innovations will wow the crowds at the next trade fair not just as proposals, but also because they have been put into practice in the logistics business?