European power for more collaborative open-source projects in logistics and SCM
Founded in 2021 as a non-profit organisation, the Open Logistics Foundation is currently showing logistics and SCM a new way to remain fit for the future: Collaboration instead of strict competition. The implementation of a standard for the electronic consignment note or eCMR on an open-source basis is currently just the beginning. The Foundation’s members already include a wide range of major logistics operators such as Dachser, Rhenus, DB Schenker and DHL. The Foundation aims to become the international platform for the development of common code from competitors – always with a view to non-market-differentiating features in logistics and SCM. The cooperation of as many market participants as possible is necessary for the desired de-facto standardisation in the relevant areas. The first international network partner is the European Technology Platform for Logistics, based in Brussels: ETP ALICE.
Founded in 2013, ALICE recognised the need to work on supply chain collaboration initiatives to define standard processes and protocols supporting the implementation of the Physical Internet concept to increase the efficiency and sustainability of supply chains. ALICE gathers more than 160 members including leading experts and companies in logistics and supply chain innovation imple-mentation. The Open Logistics Foundation stems from the initiative of one of the ALICE members and it is truly delivering on ALICE vision and mission and advancing in its implementation. Open source, the facto standards and defining universal standards are key building blooks to enable collaboration and building the path towards the Physical Internet.
Collaboration and open source as a game changer for Europe’s competitiveness
“Thanks to its networking with the European Commission, its large number of members and its participation in many Europe-wide initiatives, ETP ALICE is an ideal network partner for us,” explains Andreas Nettsträter, CEO of the Open Logistics Foundation. ‘As an association focussed on collaboration, ETP Alice is an important supporter and advisor to the EU Commission in the introduction of new research programmes. My long-time colleague and CFO Thorsten Hülsmann and I were even involved in the founding of ETP ALICE in 2013 in our previous Fraunhofer IML functions. The existing relationship is a good basis for a free exchange that will produce target-oriented open source solutions for logistics. Together we want to give the logistics and SCM industry a stronger voice and em-phasise collaboration as a game changer for the competitiveness of Europe, but also of each individual member.’
Universal open-source solutions enable structural collaboration
Francois Regis le Tourneau, Chairman of ALICE, adds: “The topic of ‘Physical Internet’ is at the top of our joint agenda, universal open source solutions enable structural collaboration at zero marginal costs. This is a core building block of the Physical Internet enabling collaboration opportunities, visibility and increase resource utilisation and sharing. Efficiency will be more and more important to achieve an affordable transition to climate neutral and sustainable logistics and supply chains. This makes it even more important for the Open Logistics Foundation and us to act as a driver for more collaboration and open standards in this field. We will collaborate in projects and will organise joint ideation workshops, events and seminars on an EU-wide level to identify pain points and opportunities in the logistics industry. Thanks to the high diversity of the Foundation’s members, a wide range of interest groups from all over Europe can find a voice.”