1. A community thrives on the contribution and unique expertise of each individual

A community thrives on the contribution and unique expertise of each individual

Dear Community, when it comes to top quality, reliable and efficient logistics services, Germany and Europe have been setting high benchmarks for many years. However, the tables turn when it comes to digitalisation and standardisation of processes. In global comparison, European logistics companies reach at best a moderate position in these two aspects. This is mainly because over the years, the IT processes have evolved in silo structures. In other words, companies have either independently developed their own digital solutions or rely on standard solutions from individual system providers.
© Rhenus Group

This is precisely the crux of the matter: such a heterogeneous system landscape will not adequately meet the demands and challenges of a globally connected supply chain. Therefore, in light of the advanced innovation coming in the form of digitalised platforms coming from the USA and China, we simply can no longer afford such an approach.

That is why we currently see IT as perhaps the most important driver of innovation – for our industry and across the board. With the establishment of the Open Logistics Foundation, we have set ourselves the goal, to jointly drive forward the development of an open-source community for digitalisation in logistics and supply chain. Our aspiration is the connectivity, compatibility, and interoperability of IT systems in logistics beyond our own corporate borders. Because one thing is clear: digitalisation must not be an end in itself; it overcomes interfaces and via open source, is accessible for use and further development to everyone free of charge.

To accomplish this, we need the expertise and experience of all of you – Companies operating in logistics, from the shipping industry, from industry and trade, and of course IT. Within the Open Logistics Foundation, you have the opportunity to work together in working groups and projects, on precisely the topics of interest and of pressing concern to you and us as a community in our day-to-day business. For example, the Working Group “Electronic Transport Documents”, which oversees the “eCMR” project – our first lighthouse project – struck a nerve in the industry right from the start.

The important thing here is that all developments are publicly available. This means that every single component is available in our Open Logistics Repository – a technical platform with software and hardware, interfaces, and references implementations under a free license. I would, thus, like to invite you to become part of our community and join forces with us in shaping the future of logistics.

Already today, we can proudly say that we are on the right track with the Open Logistics Foundation. The foundation’s community includes over 20 member organisations, among them are the four founding members Dachser, DB Schenker, duisport and Rhenus. The spectrum of companies ranges from start-ups and SMEs to large international corporates. the most recent additions include DHL, TransFollow and IP Customs Solutions.

I am particularly pleased to inform you that you are holding the very first issue of our new magazine today. Released biannually, the magazine will present noteworthy topics and developments of the community and keep you informed about current developments. I strongly encourage you to take part in enriching the community with your contributions, help to shape it, and ultimately make it a benefit for all.

Dr. Stephan Peters, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Open Logistics Foundation and Member of the Management Board of the Rhenus Group

This article was published in the first issue of the Open Logistics Magazine. You can read the full magazine and register for future editions here.

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Carina Tüllmann

Head of Communications and Marketing

Open Logistics Foundation

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