Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Revolution in the Global Logistics Sector – The Physical Internet

21.08.2014

Comprehensive interconnection, speed and effectiveness – a world without the Internet is unimaginable. When something works this well, you have to ask why it only works in the digital world and not the real, physical world.

“By 2050 at the latest, the situation may change. The ‘Internet of Things’ will revolutionize the world to the same extent that the Internet did before it,” said Rod Franklin, professor for logistics at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg.


Prof. Rod Franklin

As efficiently as supply chains are organized today, “they follow a hypothesis that accepts loads of less than full capacity plus the higher energy costs connected to this, and delays as an intrinsic part of the system,” added Franklin. Today, we can determine exactly where specific goods are located within the supply chain at a specific time and inform our customers that the circumstances dictate a probable delay in delivery of a few days.

This represents major progress when it comes to communication. “However, we could also think about how goods might follow completely new channels to get to customers and how to avoid wasting as many resources as possible in the process. We could transfer the unbeatably efficient logic of the Internet to the physical world,” said the logistics expert.

What we need are smaller, standardized container formats, open source software for complete supply chain maps, and transport means that can be used jointly to move goods around the globe and bring them to their destinations. And of course the vision that this is where the future of logistics lies is also necessary.

“Logistics is the most-used industry in the world and at approximately 15% of global GDP annually, also one with significant potential for added value. But we are still not using it effectively enough,” Franklin noted. Only around 10 percent of the logistics services are pure transport services – empty journeys, idle time, loading and unloading take up the remainder.

How would a supply chain based on the Physical Internet look? Franklin describes it like this: “Trucks will always be loaded to their maximum capacity: therefore, highly effectively. This would eliminate empty journeys. Open source software would ensure that only goods that can be immediately re-distributed by other logistics centers along the route would be transported. It does not matter which producer is the point of origin; and who the transport means belongs to is also unimportant.”

The advantages are obvious. Trucks would always be effectively at 100% capacity. The initial drivers would only travel a specific route – others would be responsible for forwarding the freight – and they would transport other goods in other trucks back to the hub in the evening and then go home. The Physical Internet advocate’s balance is convincing: “In sum, this would mean less traffic on the roads, lower emissions and costs, and greater speed, quality, and service.”

“The Physical Internet is what you get when you think green logistics through to the end,” said Franklin. “And it would be a completely new form of cooperation within the logistics sector. Not all companies can develop their own global network. The sum of all the providers equals the global logistics network, and of course it has to translate into a fair price model in which each provider is appropriately compensated for its part of the logistic service.”

When looking into the future, he is sure of one thing: “We can stop concentrating on optimizing the means of transport and start focusing on how we transport. Routes and ownership of the means of transport will no longer be important – the focus will be on speed, costs, and service quality.”

However, one problem remains: on land, the highly successful standard container for maritime transport is only suitable for train transport. In order to realize the Physical Internet, we will have to develop smaller standard containers that facilitate a producer-to-consumer supply chain. “But is there any reason to think this can’t happen?” asked Franklin. After all, no one saw much of a future for ship containers in the 1950s. But without them, today’s global economy would not exist.

The Physical Internet will require us to rethink – and think innovatively, too. “We have the technical and technological prerequisites now. Industry 4.0, which is based on digitalization, interconnection and automation, is driving the need for Global Logistics 4.0,” said Franklin with conviction. “If we take on the challenge of re-organizing supply chains and learn to understand them as completely new forms of cooperation, we can change the world for the better.”

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.the-klu.org/recent-press-releases/

Dr. Ulrich Vetter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: GDP Global Industry Internet Logistik Sector Unternehmensführung avoid capacity determine responsible

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Siemens to modernize large sections of the Belgian railway network
04.08.2015 | Siemens AG

nachricht First Siemens-built Thameslink train arrives in London
31.07.2015 | Siemens AG

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Self-healing landscape: landslides after earthquake

In mountainous regions earthquakes often cause strong landslides, which can be exacerbated by heavy rain. However, after an initial increase, the frequency of these mass wasting events, often enormous and dangerous, declines, in fact independently of meteorological events and aftershocks.

These new findings are presented by a German-Franco-Japanese team of geoscientists in the current issue of the journal Geology, under the lead of the GFZ...

Im Focus: FIC Proteins Send Bacteria Into Hibernation

Bacteria do not cease to amaze us with their survival strategies. A research team from the University of Basel's Biozentrum has now discovered how bacteria enter a sleep mode using a so-called FIC toxin. In the current issue of “Cell Reports”, the scientists describe the mechanism of action and also explain why their discovery provides new insights into the evolution of pathogens.

For many poisons there are antidotes which neutralize their toxic effect. Toxin-antitoxin systems in bacteria work in a similar manner: As long as a cell...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IPA develops prototype of intelligent care cart

It comes when called, bringing care utensils with it and recording how they are used: Fraunhofer IPA is developing an intelligent care cart that provides care staff with physical and informational support in their day-to-day work. The scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have now completed a first prototype. In doing so, they are continuing in their efforts to improve working conditions in the care sector and are developing solutions designed to address the challenges of demographic change.

Technical assistance systems can improve the difficult working conditions in residential nursing homes and hospitals by helping the staff in their work and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking conference in Heidelberg for outstanding mathematicians and computer scientists

20.08.2015 | Event News

Scientists meet in Münster for the world’s largest Chitin und Chitosan Conference

20.08.2015 | Event News

Large agribusiness management strategies

19.08.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Interstellar seeds could create oases of life

28.08.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

An ounce of prevention: Research advances on 'scourge' of transplant wards

28.08.2015 | Health and Medicine

Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes

28.08.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>