Intelligent, sustainable, networked: this is what logistics of the future is going to be like. Thanks to digital applications and artificial intelligence, all processes along the supply chain can be developed in a more automated and more efficient way – from ordering and billing to transportation itself.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, digitization of the economy has gathered pace once again. The BMVI has set the course for the logistics of the future with their »Logistics Innovation Program 2030«. This stands for a modern transport and logistics system that is safe, automated, networked, digitized, covers all types of transportation and is both climate and environmentally friendly. We want all companies to be able to benefit from the opportunities of digitization so they can keep up with the competition. The advantage of logistics is that, more than any other industry, it can be extensively standardized and synchronized so it is particularly suited to making use of platforms, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

The Silicon Economy is a very special project within our innovation program. In this project, logistics is being completely, and above all digitally, rethought – end-to-end, from orders through to payment processes. The main focus is on creating a fully digitized and automated logistics chain across all kinds of transportation, e.g., to include exchanging information within large supply chains and logistics networks, electronic shipment information, and fully automated, AI-based arrival time predictions. For all these services, open source services and special components are being developed in the Silicon Economy that companies can easily and safely integrate in their platforms. All components are made available to the companies free of charge in a sort of library, the so-called repository. The platforms can then be networked with each other without problem. This cluster of platforms creates ONE efficient and competitive platform for the entire industry.

Logistics industry involved in design

Another unique feature of the Silicon Economy is that corporations, medium-sized companies and start-ups can all contribute equally to its development and can design and use it in a way that suits them best. The top players in logistics with their large independent IT departments are already participating in the Silicon Economy in the context of this funded project. However, they also develop their own projects which they then contribute to the common good of logistics as well. Medium-sized companies benefit from the Silicon Economy by being able to integrate the open source services simply and quickly in their own IT systems which they can then use immediately. In future, logistics start-ups will be able to use these developments to bring their ideas for new landmark platforms faster to market.

The innovations of the Silicon Economy offer many advantages, for example by achieving better planning and higher efficiency for logistics, less risk and fewer mistakes, greater reliability and a better basis for decision making thanks to precise real-time data. At the same time, we improve traffic flows, fully exploit transport capacities, connect transport carriers with each other better than ever before and reduce emissions as well. That will all strengthen Germany’s position as a world logistics champion – even beyond 2030.