Rhenus is a co-founder of the Open Logistics Foundation

The Rhenus Group set up the Open Logistics Foundation together with the Dachser, DB Schenker and duisport companies on 22 October. The goal of the non-profit foundation is to establish a European open source community to enable progress to be made in digitalising the world of logistics and supply chain management.

Laying the basis for an open-source community in logistics (from left): Stefan Hohm (Dachser), Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Michael ten Hompel (Fraunhofer IML), Dr. Stephan Peters (Rhenus), Christian Bockelt (DB Schenker), Markus Bangen (duisport). Photo: Sebastian Gabsch

The core element in the foundation’s work is to operate the so-called Open Logistics Repository, a technical platform where software and hardware, interfaces, examples of reference implementation and open source components are available through a free licence (permissive licence). The foundation is geared towards all companies associated with the world of logistics and their IT developers. Numerous companies, including the BLG Logistics Group, Kühne+Nagel and software firms such as Setlog, have already announced that they wish to cooperate within the scheme.

“The digitalisation of logistics can only be successfully promoted if we work together. That is why open source is an important success factor for the entire logistics sector and is also a driving force for creating standardised processes along digital value-added chains. We view the establishment of the Open Logistics Foundation as a first step along the way to setting up a platform economy that is built on European legal standards and values. It is an initial step and at the same time an appeal to the world of logistics to consider technology and processes together and actively become involved in the open source community,” according to a joint statement by the founders. “The issue now involves anchoring open source in logistics and creating the internal structures for working with the appropriate hardware and software.”

All the tools and components will be available free of charge and without any restrictions on their commercial use in order to promote broad acceptance within the world of logistics. Companies can utilise them to extend their own platforms or establish new products and business models more quickly, for example.

“Digitalisation is not an end in itself. It overcomes interfaces and pays off higher-level goals such as transparency, efficiency, and sustainability. Above all, however, it must also be economically feasible and successful on the market. 100 percent digital is not a dream, but our common future in more and more use cases. The open-source concept guarantees an open standard for digitalising logistics processes while offering a high degree of flexibility for individual adaptations. By founding the Open Logistics Foundation, we have laid the basis for the era of open source in logistics,” says Dr Stephan Peters, a Board Member of the Rhenus Group and the Deputy Chairperson of the Open Logistics Foundation, emphasising its importance.

You can find more information about the Open Logistics Foundation here:

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See also our interview with Dr. Stephan Peters
To the interview