DB Schenker: A modern IT system for the overland transport of general cargo

From consignment registration and scheduling, to invoicing that takes into account complex tariffs: DB Schenker has modernized its IT system for the overland transport of general cargo, allowing it to meet all requirements quickly and hassle-free.

The customer

With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, DB Schenker is responsible for Deutsche Bahn’s transport and logistics activities. The company achieves top rankings in the global air, sea and land freight business. With around 72,000 employees at over 2,000 locations around the world, DB Schenker generates annual sales of over EUR 15 billion.

DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading providers of global logistics services and assists industry and trade in the global exchange of goods – by providing overland transport, global air and sea freight, contract logistics, trade fair/special transports and supply chain management.

The challenge

As a leading European provider of system freight shipping/LTL, DB Schenker was faced with the challenge of reconciling its processes, which had been tested over many years and proven in practice, with rapidly advancing technological transformation. In order to be able to keep pace with international competitive pressure in the future as well, the logistics provider decided to reconceptualize its IT system for the overland transport of general cargo – but without throwing proven processes overboard. The new system has been designed for all order and transport processing in Germany.

Alongside a modern, flexible and freely scalable system architecture, DB Schenker placed a lot of value on having a highly automated evaluation and invoicing process that would allow it to simply and flexibly meet even complex customer requests when invoicing transport services.

The solution

From the very beginning, Lufthansa Industry Solutions worked closely with DB Schenker to develop a new IT system that would meet the changing requirements of freight forwarding, employees and customers in equal part. Alongside technological expertise, DB Schenker wanted its collaboration partner to have proven specialist and practical knowledge of the transport and freight industry. Lufthansa Industry Solutions proved that it had both when it came up with its specialist technical prototype (proof of concept) and was able to assert itself against renowned competitors.

It was on this basis that DB Schenker and Lufthansa Industry Solutions worked together to create a modern IT system for the overland transport of general cargo that is scalable and makes it possible to quickly integrate new workflows. The question of whether to replace the previous host-based IT system was answered during a phase in which both systems coexisted: Master and transaction data were migrated during running operations without putting any additional strain on operations or employees.

At times, the entire project team consisted of as many as 180 employees, up to 60 of whom were from Lufthansa Industry Solutions alone, from its software development, specialist conceptualization and design, test management, project management and IT security departments.

The customer benefit

From consignment registration, scheduling and generating transport documents, to invoicing that takes into account a range of complex tariffs: The new IT system for the overland transport of general cargo at DB Schenker carries out all of its tasks quickly and hassle-free. Numerous automated processes allow the company to cut costs and easily integrate future customer requirements into the IT system. Last year, DB Schenker generated several million invoices using the first release of the IT system for the overland transport of general cargo, which has already been in active use since 2014. Release 2, which is currently being rolled out, will now continue this success story for the operating departments as well.

With our new IT system myMistral, we are ideally equipped to face the future of overland transport for general cargo. In particular, the intensive exchange of ideas with the Lufthansa Industry Solutions experts that we had from the very beginning and the joint project team ensured that we were able to keep the different needs and requirements in our sights at all times and produce a great result.

Michael Laufenburg
Senior Vice President IT Management Land, Schenker Deutschland AG