1. Open source solutions will prevail in logistics in the next five years

Open source solutions will prevail in logistics in the next five years

Open Source Innovation Day 2023 of the Open Logistics Foundation in Berlin: When will open source solutions become established in logistics – in 5, 10 or 15 years? The vast majority of participants at the Open Source Innovation Day 2023 (#OSID2023) of the Open Logistics Foundation in the co-working space „Spielfeld“ in Berlin voted for „in 5 years“. Not a single person voted for „in 15 years“. The general mood at the first event of this kind was accordingly characterised by the will to promote open source in logistics. A total of about 80 representatives from industry and research took advantage of this opportunity to broaden their perspective and gain new insights on the topic of open source.

Andreas Nettsträter, Managing Director of the Open Logistics Foundation, stated right at the beginning: „Three working groups, four projects, more than 20 members: the Foundation has reached its operation mode in 2023!” The innovation community is focused on delivering concrete results, i.e. implementing open source software. The following applies: “Cross-company development is our goal and the best proof, that cooperation works, is software”, says Nettsträter. In addition to logistics service providers, intralogistics companies and IT companies as well as multipliers are currently increasingly seeking contact with the Foundation.

At the beginning, in their joint welcome address of #OSID2023, Christa Koenen, CIO/CDO DB Schenker, and Stefan Hohm, CDO Dachser, both members of the board of the Open Logistics Foundation, made the potential of open source software for necessary change in logistics clear. The working group leaders then gave an overview of the current state of work in the working groups (WG) and projects: Ingo Müller from Dachser for WG “Electronic Transport Documents”, Oliver Ditz from the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) for the WG “Digital Air Cargo” and Michael Douglas, Rhenus/ALS Customs Services, for the WG “Open Customs Blockchain”. Nathalie Böhning, Innovation and Project Manager of the Open Logistics Foundation, then presented new project ideas from the ideation processes, including a driver app and track-and-trace solution with arrival time prediction.

In the afternoon, four companions and observers of the Open Logistics Foundation provided exciting new food for thought: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer IML and intellectual father of the Foundation with the research project “Silicon Economy”, conveyed the “big picture” in his lecture “The future of logistics”. His message was clear: after the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence or Data Spaces, the “next big thing” was to think all of this together. Legal requirements and software development requirements are two sides of the same coin, explained Dr. David Saive in his plea for a new job title, the “Legal product Owner”: according to the doctor of law, this person must be involved in the development process from the very beginning, side by side with the developers, and enable software instead of – at the end of the a process – slowing it down with reference to the possible legal consequences. Marcel Scholze and Julian Schauder from the management consultancy pwc pointed out that open source must be managed. Open Source is not about implementing a single project, companies must rather understand open source as a strategy. Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, Professor of Open Source Software at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, concluded by explaining the different structures and functions of open source communities – always with a view to the fact that open source software opens up the possibility for a company to use market opportunities more quickly.

The participants took up the impulses with interest: Further questions were asked in the Q&A sessions after each presentation, and new alliances were forged during networking in the breaks and in the evening. Carina Tüllmann, Head of Communications and Marketing of the Foundation and moderator of the event: “Our first Open Source Innovation Day was a complete success: Innovation is also born from inspiration!”

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Carina Tüllmann

Head of Communications and Marketing

Open Logistics Foundation

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