1. Open Logistics Foundation launches ‘Track & Trace’ working group under the leadership of DB Schenker

Open Logistics Foundation launches ‘Track & Trace’ working group under the leadership of DB Schenker

Many different transshipment points and delivery partners make the planning of logistical transport processes difficult enough. At the same time, logistics partners often talk at cross purposes, especially when status terms such as "in transit" are not clearly defined. The Open Logistics Foundation wants to create a standardized solution with the help of open source. Parallel to LogiMAT 2024, a Working Group is to be established to tackle the topic of Track & Trace - under the leadership of DB Schenker. The foundation will be presenting its solutions at the logistics trade fair at the Fraunhofer IML booth (Hall 1, Booth 1K61).
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The Open Logistics Foundation was launched in 2021 as an industry initiative in logistics. The aim of the non-profit organization is to find collaborative solutions for typical problems in modern logistics on an open source basis. In autumn 2023, the Open Logistics Foundation presented the successful implementation of an open source-based implementation for the digital consignment note (eCMR), created by a Working Group in which market players worked together. The aim is always to achieve the de facto standardization of non-market-differentiating areas in logistics and supply chain management. This is also the case in the new Working Group on Track & Trace under the leadership of DB Schenker, a founding member of the Foundation. “Our first and foremost goal is to establish a common understanding of the functioning of haulage based on various events”, says Christa Koenen, CIO and CDO DB Schenker.

Standardized event names from open source model

In practice, processes are often not transparent – especially for logistics service providers who rely on different subcontractors for their deliveries. At best, the status messages for Track & Trace are transmitted but not labelled in a standardized way. It is then up to the service providers to correctly interpret the different phrases such as “In delivery”. Additional confusion is caused by non-standardized acronyms (special event codes) that are assigned to a transport phase. An exact forecast, e.g. of the actual delivery time, is not possible: planning becomes obsolete and the customer only receives vague information about the actual delivery time. This also means that historical events cannot be processed optimally, for example for performance analyses for the purpose of SLA reporting or operational excellence targets. The Working Group, led by DB Schenker and members Aventeon, Bohnen Logistik/duisport, Dachser, Fraunhofer IML, logistics cloud, Rhenus, TradeLink and others, aims to solve these challenges. The approach is an open source event and data model to realize a standardized interface.

“We are not planning a functional platform, but a unified process and interface designation”, explains Christa Koenen. “Only through a consistent understanding of events it is clear where a specific delivery is located. At the same time, standardized designations for delivery events pave the way for easier automation of all communication processes. In the Track & Trace Working Group, we act in accordance with the Foundation’s guiding principle: collaboration instead of silo thinking. We are therefore all the more pleased to welcome so many market players to the Working Group.”


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