The idea of open source promotes collaboration, transparency, and innovation in the development and distribution of software, and has been widely adopted by communities and organisations globally. Logistics companies around the globe must manage complex supply chains and handle large amounts of data, making open source solutions an attractive option. The advantages of expanding open source activities across our industry are manifold. They range from standardisation, flexibility, innovation to cost efficiency and security. Together as an industry, we aim to develop common software standards, tools, and services based on the trustworthy collaboration of partners.
Going back a few decades in the history of the logistics industry, to the time before computers and code were commonplace and fundamental to the way we do business, we see, that the open source idea and mindset has been integral to our industry for quite some time. In the 1950s, the American entrepreneur Malcom McLean revolutionised the industry with his invention of the shipping container. With his idea, McLean encountered an environment of established structures with few standardised modes of transport in global supply chains. After the first successful voyage of his container, McLean –keeping with the idea of transparency, standardisation and collaboration – made the design plans for his container public, thus enabling the entire industry to participate in his revolutionary idea and paving the way for international standardisation.
McLean‘s legacy serves as a testament to the power of open source thinking in driving innovation. Open thinking and mindset are crucial for successful open source as it relies on a community of contributors who share a common goal and work together to achieve it. This community is built on a foundation of trust, collaboration, and mutual respect, guided by a set of shared values and principles. These values help to build a strong and resilient community that is able to overcome challenges and achieve its goals over the long term.
By valuing trust, collaboration, transparency, communication, and a commitment to quality, we can revolutionise the industry by creating high quality solutions that help improve operations through standardisation, drive innovation, and ultimately provide exceptional services to our customers.
Christa Koenen is Member of the Board of Directors at the Open Logistics Foundation as well as CIO/CDO and Member of the Board of Management at DB Schenker
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.