FUTURE TRENDS IN LOGISTICS: A BIASED VIEW ON URBAN MOBILITY AND ITS INTERCONNECTION WITH TRANSPORT NETWORKS

3 April 2017 10:49

(updated: 3 April 2017 10:50)

FUTURE TRENDS IN LOGISTICS: A BIASED VIEW ON URBAN MOBILITY AND ITS INTERCONNECTION WITH TRANSPORT NETWORKS

Speaker: Professor Stefan Voss, University of Hamburg.

Logistics is currently undergoing major changes that have not been foreseen even a decade ago. While topics such as green logistics, reverse logistics, closed-loop supply chains and many other "buzzwords" have gained importance quite some time ago, we now see major challenges due to the upcoming ideas of autonomous vehicles, drones, 3D-printing and same day delivery, just to mention a few. Together with the internet of things (IoT), Logistik 4.0, big data and cloud computing we see a large momentum behind the digital transformation in various areas and disciplines largely influencing the future of sustainable logistics, taking into account economic, ecological, and social dimensions. We may concede that “the technology” is there, it “just” needs to be applied in a meaningful way in order to gain business as well as societal value.

While advances are observed in technology, this might also bring new problems. Besides managerial and cultural challenges for facilitating the digital transformation, everything is bound to be optimized so that vulnerability issues and the influence of disturbances get more and more important. A well-known example from production planning is the consideration of load dependent lead times. And on the societal side humans need to be trained to solve and resolve problems which are considered to be even more complex as more data is coming in and system-wide implications are more demanding etc. In this spirit, digital transformation is of utmost importance in the business world with major impacts on any of its sectors and especially logistics and supply chain management. As an example one may consider ports and logistics within maritime shipping to exemplify those developments. That is, as actors in world-wide supply chains, seaports are particularly affected by technological change. Past developments show how digital innovation can shape the modernization of ports.

In this presentation we review the outcomes of past developments and their impact on logistics operations with a view on urban mobility and its interconnection with transport networks. While a comprehensive treatment of the topic is beyond our goals, we provide a biased view focusing on one or more example(s) chosen especially from the following sets of challenges:

  • Digital transformation in seaports:

    We identify issues regarding the timeline of different stages of digital transformation in seaports and discuss important aspects and challenges for their future.

  • Digital transformation in electricity networks:

    One of the problems to exemplify modeling of self-adequacy of interconnected micro-grids and smart grids relates to the maximum partitioning of a graph with supply and demand where the objective is to find a set of vulnerable disjoint connected subgraphs observing certain supply and demand options.

  • Digital transformation in public transport:

    Information exchange in public transport has reached new levels based on wireless sensor networks, GPS-technology, RFID and alike. The use in, for instance, passenger information systems should enable any type of user to take informed decisions in regular use, in case of disturbances or even in demand-responsive transport. We identify issues regarding the timeline of different stages of digital transformation in public transport and clarify important aspects and challenges for their future.