Lufthansa Industry Solutions and HITeC launch feasibility study

Future Transport Hamburg combines economic efficiency with environmental protection

By making better use of cargo space, reducing costs and cutting CO2 emissions, the blockchain-based freight exchange Future Transport Hamburg (FTH) combines economic efficiency with environmental protection. Working in collaboration with the Hamburg Informatics Technology Center (HITeC), Lufthansa Industry Solutions is now launching an extensive feasibility study partially funded by the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank (IFB).

Hamburg/Norderstedt, October 14, 2020 – Heavy goods vehicles are the most common means of transporting goods in Germany. According to the Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene), HGVs accounted for 72 percent of all freight transportation in 2019. In effect, however, one in every three HGVs is driving empty. This empty running places an unnecessary economic strain on both the environment and transport infrastructure. Making the best possible use of HGV cargo capacity reduces mileage and pollution, cuts personnel costs, and boosts competitiveness.

One approach currently being used to tackle this problem is freight exchanges. By optimizing the coordination of supply and demand in the cargo transport sector, freight exchanges aim to improve the use of HGV capacity. However, these platforms often fail to impress users. In many cases, they charge high fees, require users to install additional software, and are subject to regional restrictions. 

Future Transport Hamburg (FTH) aims to tackle these issues and will be the first blockchain-based – and, therefore, decentralized and platform-independent – freight exchange to be free-of-charge and independent while also offering a range of additional applications. Blockchain technology makes it possible to obtain cryptographic proof of every single transaction, thereby removing the need to place trust in a third party – which, in the case of freight exchanges, is typically the platform operator. This secure data recording and the transparency of information guarantees reliability, protection against falsification, and data traceability. In addition, various solutions from the logistics sector can be integrated as part of the project.

In the course of the feasibility study, which is supported by the Hamburg Investment and Development Bank (IFB), LHIND and HITeC will examine exactly how such a blockchain-based freight exchange might be implemented in technical and economic terms. A significant factor in the study will also be the ecological assessment of such a solution. Consequently, the energy required to power the freight exchange and the associated CO2 emissions will be offset against the potential CO2 savings that optimizing use of HGV capacity could achieve. The study will run until the end of July 2021.

About Lufthansa Industry Solutions

Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. This Lufthansa subsidiary helps its clients with the digital transformation of their companies. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, as well as more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt and employs more than 2,100 members of staff at several branch offices in Germany, Albania, Switzerland and the USA.