Joachim Schaut, VP Intercontinental Supply Chain Solutions for DB Schenker

The ship that broke the camel’s back

Joachim Schaut, Vice President Intercontinental Supply Chain Solutions for DB Schenker, speaks to MHD about how the Ever Given’s infamous blockage of the Suez Canal was just the final straw in an already stretched supply chain, and how the past year’s challenges will shape the future of global freight. 

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Is freight transport ready for stricter CO2 targets?

One of the world’s largest logistics service providers and operator of Europe’s largest land transport network, DB Schenker, has committed itself to stricter CO2 reduction targets for commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.
“I believe that more can be done and more must be done,” said DB Schenker CEO Jochen Thewes, on the occasion of Deutsche Bahn’s ‘Green November’ initiative. “To encourage the forthcoming structural transformation in the automotive industry and the availability of alternative drive technologies in freight transport as well, I consider the ambitious CO2 reduction targets for commercial vehicles of 20% by 2025 and 35% by 2030 to be absolutely feasible.
Having joined the global climate initiative EV100, DB Schenker recently decided to gradually convert its own fleet of distribution vehicles to electromobility. The objective is to retrofit all vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with electric drives or fuel cells by 2030. Half of all vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes will also be electrically powered by then. Even today, DB Schenker already operates electric transport vehicles in Austria, Italy and Norway as well as electric cargo bikes in a dozen European cities.
Action is therefore required in particular with regard to trucks weighing over 7.5 tonnes: “Everyone must participate, including and especially the manufacturers. We need to make the long overdue technological leap in the imminent structural transformation in the automotive industry,” Mr Thewes said.
In addition, a pilot project in Germany together with MAN and Fresenius University is currently testing the efficiency of digitally controlled truck convoys, also known as platooning. Together with the Swedish start-up Einride, the world’s first electric and fully autonomous truck was recently put into commercial operation.
On 14 November the EU Parliament will vote on CO2 targets for freight transport. The decision will be based on a proposal by the European Commission to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. Earlier this year DB Schenker and other companies already advocated more ambitious CO2 targets for commercial vehicles of -20 per cent by 2025 and -35 per cent by 2030.

what3words enters the mainstream logistics chain

DB Schenker is integrating what3words location technology into the eSchenker portal, with the aim of improving operational efficiencies by allowing deliveries to be made to any precise three by three meter squares.
what3words has divided the world into this squares, each with a unique address made from three dictionary words – a 3-word-address.
///smiling.always.seating, for example, refers to the exact three meter square of the front door to the DB Schenker Head Office in Essen.
The what3words integration will enable more than 110,000 DB Schenker clients, who make over 500,000 bookings a month, to optimize their supply chains by specifying pick-up and drop-off points using a 3-word-address.
CIO/CDO of DB Schenker Markus Sontheimer said: “Our cooperation with what3words is a new service of DB Schenkers’ ‘connect strategy’ towards a fully digital eco-system. Especially with regard to trade shows or exhibitions, it provides our drivers with exact delivery points and thus allows us to serve our customers even faster and better.”
CCO of what3words Clare Jones said: “In a recent study conducted in Germany, we found that 73% deliveries struggle to find a home or business address. And, in more than a quarter of cases, delivery drivers have to seek additional information in order to locate an exact drop-off point. what3words solves this problem for both sides – improving efficiencies and improving customer service.”
Logistics companies around the world face a global challenge: imprecise addressing. Large sites such as factories, warehouses or events spaces often have several access points, making specific drop-off locations or delivery entrances extremely hard to identify and navigate to. The DB eSchenker portal is paving the way in the logistics industry. By adopting new technologies such as what3words, shipments are likely to get to their destination securely and on time, maintaining the highest standard of customer service possible.
Deutsche Bahn invested in what3words in 2016, with the two companies working together on the future of logistics and transport.
 
 

The future of freight rail

DB Cargo is planning to equip its entire fleet with smart sensors, smart telematics systems and whisper breaks by 2020.
DB Cargo continues to ‘digitalise’ its freight wagon fleet: by 2020, every one of the roughly 70,000 wagons in Germany will be fitted with state-of-the-art sensors and telematics systems. Some 19,000 wagons will be retrofitted this year, with the remaining 50,000 to follow by 2020. A total of 1,000 wagons have already been equipped with smart technology. DB Cargo management recently approved tens of millions in investment in smart wagon technology between now and 2020.
Wagons equipped with GPS and other sensor technology will benefit DB Cargo customers directly. GPS will enable direct, constant wagon tracking, which in turn will make it possible to calculate estimated time of arrival. The sensors will also provide information about whether each wagon is full or empty, and about the temperature and humidity levels inside the wagon. Such information is key to ensuring effective end-to-end supply chains for customers. If paper reels, for example, are too damp when they arrive at the printing works, they cannot be used immediately to print newspapers. The wagon sensors will also be able to detect mechanical factors, such as bumps that occur during shunting.
“In a world of ever-increasing digitalisation, today’s customers expect a high level of service – they want to know, in real time, where their freight is, when it will arrive and what condition it is in,” said CEO of DB Cargo Dr Roland Bosch. “This is why we are retrofitting our entire fleet with digital technology.
“We are also dedicated to sustainability, and so we are making sure that our wagons are also low-noise. We want to offer a digital, low-noise wagon fleet that shows our customers how serious we are about performance, and that ultimately helps shift more traffic to rail.”
By 2020, DB Cargo will be retrofitting all the freight wagons that run in Germany with ‘whisper’ brakes. Whisper brakes keep the wheel surface smooth when the brakes are applied, halving the noise emissions generated by the wheels as they roll. Some two-thirds of DB Cargo’s own fleet has already been retrofitted, with nearly 11,000 more wagons scheduled for retrofitting in 2018.
 

DB Schenker and DPWA blockchain partnership to restore supply chain security

Logistic and supply chain company DP World Australia, the Australian branch of DB Schenker and a major carrier company have partnered on a consortium backed by blockchain technology from blockchain start-up TBSx3.
The participants intend to use blockchain architecture developed by Australia-based TBSx3 to combat the global counterfeit goods industry, protect global supply chains and help companies restore consumer trust in supply chains.
The alliance tested and utilised technology developed by TBSx3 in Q2 2017 to complete a large global blockchain trial, which tracked the distribution of wines from Coonawarra, South Australia to the port of Qingdao in northeastern China and was verified by professional services firm KPMG.
The trial used TBSx3’s blockchain logistics platform, which aims to defeat the threats of counterfeits through three layers of protection: cryptographic certainty, logistics tracking backed by artificial intelligence and the immutability of blockchain technology.
“Blockchain technology opens new possibilities for industry co-operation,” said Pieter Vandevelde, Chief Revenue Officer, TBSx3. “Our aim with forming this alliance is to reignite trust in every link in the supply chain and create a more transparent, ethical ecosystem of international trade.
“We are willing to do business with anyone serious about ridding the world of fake products and protecting consumer trust.”
Paul Scurrah, CEO of DP World Australia, noted: “I knew it was a great opportunity for DP World to become engaged in a new era of industry collaboration. The scale of the fake goods problem is staggering and our company is eager to work with TBSx3 and our industry partners to provide a lasting solution.”
Charlie Mcdonald, Chief Information Officer, DB Schenker, added, “Data security is the core to modern business risk management and we are excited by blockchain’s potential in this area. The concept of protecting that data through a distributed ledger system holds great promise.”

DB Schenker wins five-year Shell Australia contract

DB Schenker, the transportation and logistics arms of Deutsche Bahn, has been awarded a five-year contract to provide international freight forwarding and customs clearance services to Shell Australia, using its global network of specialised Oil and Gas offices.
The operations team in Brisbane, Darwin and Perth will be supported by DB Schenker’s iTeams software, which enables visibility and tracking through the logistics cycle.
“We are proud to continue our global relationship with Shell in Australia to supply both QGC (Queensland Gas Company) in Queensland and the Prelude FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) facility in Western Australia with international freight and customs clearance services,” said Frank Vogel, Director Projects – Oil & Gas, Australia/New Zealand.
“With our dedicated people around the world we have a strong record of operating safely and efficiently even on the most remote sites. This contract will support our goal to become the market leader in the industry by 2020.”
 

DB Schenker Australia officially opens NSW mega-facility

In December, DB Schenker opened its doors to its new Hoxton Park, New South Wales, logistics facility – details about which were revealed in October.
The grand opening was officiated by Matthias Cormann, Minister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. DB Schenker also hosted Liverpool City Council Mayor Wendy Waller, as well as customers and partners.
“The investment into this facility is for our customers, our staff and our environment,” said Ron Koehler, CEO of DB Schenker Australia and New Zealand. “We expect over the next few years to operate significantly more sustainably, but also continue to develop our processes within our new facility, to operate in the most efficient and cost-effective manner into the near future. Together with our customers and staff members, it is a great occasion to set this milestone in the company’s history.”

the ribbon-cutting ceremony for DB Schenker Australia's Hoxton Park facility, December 2017. Image courtesy DB Schenker.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony for DB Schenker Australia’s Hoxton Park facility, December 2017.
Image courtesy DB Schenker.

 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles appoints DBS

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has signed on DB Schenker for automotive spare parts logistics in Australia.
The scope of service comprises cartage, warehousing and domestic transport. These services will be performed for FCA’s automotive brands including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, SRT, Abarth and Mopar. DB Schenker will run the warehouse at FCA Headquarters in Port Melbourne and provide receiving, storage and dispatching services, as well as final delivery to FCA’s dealer network nationwide.
In the future the Melbourne set-up will likely be complemented by forward stocking locations in Queensland and Western Australia.
The warehousing service is said to be supported by the latest technology and also integrates with DB Schenker’s transport management system delivering a functional set-up that supports FCA’s material flows.
 

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