Insight into logistics
Why you should use connected solutions to manage tight delivery schedules
Interview with Niels Wildner from TCI
In logistics, everything has to go fast and digitization happens along the way. But how might the face of logistics change? How might the Internet of Things (IoT) shape this working field? We talked to Niels Wildner about the current situation and future of logistics. As the Head of Sales with Transport Control International (TCI), he is an expert in logistics as well as preventing transport damages.
Niels Wildner describes himself as a “creative problem solver”. He works as Head of Sales with Transport Control International (TCI) and is an expert in logistics and preventing damage during transport. His mission: to provide the best solution possible for his customers and to raise awareness for damage prevention in the first place.
Mr. Wildner, can you tell us more about your everyday work?
Our main focus at TCI is to reduce transport damages and raise awareness for sensible transportation. Customers usually come to us when there have already been damages during transportation. Together, we analyze the needs for damage detection and find a solution that fits their project.
The fun thing about my job is that no need is like the other. That is to say, I am learning something new every day. One key expertise for my job is market knowledge and the ability to understand my customer’s situation. Different requirements call for creative solutions, which is why I would personally describe myself as a “creative problem solver.”
Since you have been working in the field for more than 20 years, how has the way of working in logistics changed in recent years?
Previously, one transported goods from A to B. There was not that much traffic and the routes were always the same. But due to globalization and digitization, trade structures have changed. You can look for new trading partners all over the globe, the customs work as well as data sheets are digital, and the trade volume is increasing daily.
You’ve already mentioned some changes. What would you say are recent developments in logistics?
Definitely just-in-time delivery. Online traders have proofed it, whether its next day delivery or status tracking. Everything has to be transported as fast as possible. People are used to these services and I can totally understand that.
The challenge here is time. Since delivery schedules are tight, there is no room for traffic jams or difficult weather conditions, such as snow. However, as we all know, these things happen and logisticians have to deal with them on a daily basis.
As a result, transport routes must be used more efficiently. A truck driver, for example, needs to be more flexible. He communicates with the fleet management from his driver’s cabin. This gives him the ability to be redirected on difficult routes or, in case of doubt, to take over transports for colleagues if they have been stuck on the road to keep the delivery time as short as possible.
This is a first sneak peek of future logistics. How do you think digitization will change the face of logistics even more?
Digitization happens along the way. As the previous example suggests, we will communicate with systems in the future to detect the best routes possible and moreover, to generate them automatically.
It is also foreseeable that traffic will continue to increase in the coming years which will result in higher environmental impact. Here, as in all fields depending on mobility, new technologies need to be implemented in vehicles. Green Logistics will be a huge topic in the future.
The growing flow of goods has to be mapped and managed. We will need to evaluate collected data in order to optimize and administrate processes. Moreover, the Internet of Things will change the way we work and help us to deal with the increased quantity of goods.
You mentioned the Internet of Things (IoT). How do you think the IoT will support logisticians in their everyday work?
In the future, we will need to act and react immediately. The IoT gives us the opportunity to do so. At first this seems quite abstract, but IoT simply means things communicating with each other.
Imagine you transport something by plane, but the plane notices en route that it requires a spare part before it can start the next transportation job. The plane immediately reports it to the destination and the spare part will be there even before the plane’s arrival. This saves a lot of time and can also mean a competitive advantage for the producing company.
In general, data monitoring, as in the case of the plane, enables immediate notifications if something doesn’t work out as expected. It enables us to ask “Am I still on track?” in order to save time and be able to make adjustments if necessary. The new Transport Data Logger Freight Guard from Bosch, for example, serves this need and allows real-time tracking whether it is transport by truck, train, ship, or plane.
It’s not only about monitoring, it’s about awareness. To ensure the same quality of the goods when they arrive, everyone has to be aware that they’re transporting fragile items even if the time slot for delivery is short. Together, we have to raise this awareness in order to achieve the best result for our customers. Today we can already see that this awareness is starting to grow.