Logistics of the Future at TREFF

​On 26 August, it's time for TREFF 2020. Erik Wirsing, Vice President of Global Innovation at DB Schenker, will be one of the speakers. His presentation will be about how digitization and new technologies will affect the logistics of the future.
​We interviewed Erik to get to know him before the event.

Tell us about your background!

– As the Vice President of Global Innovation at DB Schenker, I am responsible for all global innovation activities. Since 1999 I have been working for DB Schenker and held several positions in Business Excellence, IT, and Cross-Functional Services. Reporting to the CDO of DB Schenker, I am focusing on future research, the effects of trends such as digitization, 3D-printing, electric mobility, autonomous driving, research & development, co-operations with start-ups, as well as the DB Schenker Enterprise Lab for Logistics and Digitization – with an open innovation approach. For me, curiosity, and an open mindset are the key ingredients to get a bit better every day.

What will your presentation “Logistics of the future” be about?

– With my presentation I would like to give an insight into how logistics will change in the future and what has already changed. Digitalization and new technologies such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, Augmented Reality or 3D printing have a strong impact on the supply chains worldwide and will revolutionize them. However, this also creates challenges for logistics. Due to new business models, new competitors such as start-ups or the current Covid-19 pandemic, the logistics sector has to adapt and react quickly to new situations and circumstances. An agile and digitalized working environment is the key to remain competitive.

Why are innovations important to the global logistics system?

– Innovative technologies are changing the global business relations. Ever increasing and specific customer demands, new buying habits, the demand for CO2-free solutions etc.is impacting the global logistic system. Therefore, efficient transport management systems, data analytics, Internet-of-Things, 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence, alternative fuel vehicles etc. are technological advancements that will take logistics & supply chain systems to the next level. Innovative solutions are being used to provide faster and reliable delivery services with more options for the customer by also providing sustainable solutions.

What are the key impacts to the global logistics system caused by Covid-19?

– As a global logistics service provider, the worldwide pandemic mainly confronted us with collapsing transport capacities, strict restrictions on the movement of goods and border crossings, changing delivery times and prices. Customers could no longer handle goods or had to wait a very long time for delivery. An agile and continuous control of the transport management was and still is crucial to remain operative in an uncertain time like this.

Why is open innovation and collaboration important for organizations such as DB Schenker?

– Through open innovation and collaboration, it is possible to exchange knowledge and work together. This is particularly important in order to accelerate internal innovations or to expand markets for the external use of innovations. For organizations such as DB Schenker, this is one way of expanding the innovation base and thus business activities through the targeted use of external knowledge sources. We at DB Schenker apply this, for example, through our Research Lab in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, or through collaboration with universities and start-ups.

TREFF is arranged by CLOSER, Northern Lead and Region Jönköpings län as a digital event this year.
Read more about TREFF 2020 on 26 August and welcome to register!

Photo: via DB Schenker
Text: via CLOSER


Published: Wed 19 Aug 2020.