A variety of different digital processes and standards is still widespread in the logistics industry. Almost every logistics service provider has its own software solutions for individual operations, which are often very similar for most companies – yet everyone still develops software independently. This is about to change with the newly established Open Logistics Foundation, which will start a new collaborative innovation approach as of November 2021.

Open Logistics Foundation Founding Member
Laying the basis for an open-source community in logistics (from left to right): Stefan Hohm (Dachser), Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael ten Hompel (Fraunhofer IML), Dr. Stephan Peters (Rhenus), Christian Bockelt (DB Schenker), Markus Bangen (duisport) (Picture credit: Open Logistics Foundation / S. Gabsch)

Open Logistics Foundation

For the first time ever, different logistics service providers have teamed up with partners, even competitors, to drive digitalization in the logistics industry. The magic words here: Open Source. The idea is simple: if most companies use the same software, the easier it is to establish standardized processes within the logistics industry, resulting in more efficient work or costs savings. Within this open source community, the target is for all to actively participate and really think of technology and processes together.

The core of the foundation will be the Open Logistics Repository. All open source software is available free of charge on this technical platform and without restriction in order to promote broad acceptance. The set-up phase of the platform will take place in 2022.

The partners

The Open Logistics Foundation was initiated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML with the founding members Dachser, DB Schenker, duisport and Rhenus. The foundation is open to new members, and numerous companies have already announced their participation, including the BLG Logistics Group, and software providers such as Setlog Holding AG or associations like the IDSA (International Dataspaces Association).

There is no question that open source is an important success factor for the entire logistics industry. A technology initiative like the Open Logistics Foundation is unique in logistics to date, with the donators taking on a trailblazing role regarding the future topic of open source. A visionary step with the potential to revolutionize digitalization within the industry.

Published: October 2021