Innovative logistics services right out of the Box

The logistics industry is involved in every step of the supply chain and will therefore play a significant role in the success of the supply chain’s digital transformation. Lufthansa Industry Solutions has developed the Logistics Box in order to assist customers while they look for and book the best transport routes.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions was recognized as a relevant player in the digital factory in the three use case clusters “Predictive Analytics & Maintenance”, “Traceability” and “Asset & Plant Performance Monitoring” by teknowlogy. According to teknowlogy, the leading independent European market analysis and consulting company for the IT industry, LHIND has proven to be able to address all related use cases in these categories.

More about awarded relevant Digital Factory Player

Intelligent sensors that measure cold chain compliance and dust during transport and the optimization of transport using big data platforms are no longer a thing of the future – they are now technologically realizable. The transport and logistics industry will play a key role in the digital transformation of the supply chain, as it is involved in every single step of the process of moving goods.

Both a challenge and a chance 

According to a study published by Lünendonk in 2016, which was based on more than 100 interviews with partners from upper management, specialist departments and IT, digitization is already playing an important role in business success. However, the results of this study show that this significance will continue to increase massively over the next two years. For logistics service providers in particular, digital transformation will entail profound change and new customer demand. It is both a challenge and a chance, as the logistics industry holds the reins and can thus position itself as a competent partner for everybody involved in the supply chain. This means that companies are transforming from pure logistics providers into service providers. A white paper published by Lufthansa Industry Solutions and Lünendonk, “There will be no Industry 4.0 without the Digitization of the Supply Chain”, shows how significant an intelligent supply chain is for the digitization of industrial and logistics companies. Because only by combining networked machines and plants with the IT systems and supply chains of all of the companies involved can production and sales processes be redesigned. The authors expect a number of transformation and adaptation projects to take place in companies in order to enable a restructuring of their processes and the introduction of new technologies.

New technologies bring customers added value

It goes without saying that today’s traveler will look for and compare routes on different platforms when booking flights and travel before booking the best offer. Software for intelligent routing across a range of different modes of transport would meet this desire for flexibility, efficiency and transparency in the logistics industry too and create the basis for a digitized supply chain. The search for the appropriate software solution often poses difficulties for companies. This is because company-specific processes, data structures and algorithms cannot be mapped sufficiently using standard software. In-house developments, on the other hand, are especially cost-intensive, time-consuming and prone to error. Cloud-connections and interfaces make solutions more complex.

Like a travel portal for containers

Lufthansa Industry Solutions’ Logistics Box enables customers to plan and then directly book routes for their containers. This flexibly adaptable, modular software is based on reliable open-source technologies and can be integrated easily within existing infrastructures. It was developed in order to provide customers with intelligent routing across various modes of transport with the help of a flexible, easy-to-use and high-performing solution. This cloud-ready architecture supports an efficient, intelligent supply chain. 

The structure of the Logistics Box is similar to that of an online travel portal. When the customer submits an inquiry, the platform makes an offer that simultaneously contains an optimal route suggestion for the customer’s plans. When making the inquiry, along with the starting point, destination and time period, the customer also specifies whether the goods have to be cooled and whether speed, price or both should be deciding factors in the search. Together with company-specific data, the customer can also choose to include future and historic weather data and delay risks in the search results. 

Our short-term goal with the Logistics Box is to provide a platform that any number of customers and carriers can access to initiate business transactions. It utilizes the diverse new opportunities provided by intelligent sensors, big data, cloud computing and collaboration platforms. 

The Logistics Box thus provides our customers with the opportunity to find optimal routes for transporting their goods.