Efficient use of resources using the example of the transport service provider Gebrüder Weiss.

Digitalization presents the transport industry with major challenges and opportunities, which can be implemented not least in new business models. The automated generation of consignment information, the secure processing of this enormous amount of data and the targeted use of information for resource planning offer great potential for the more economical design of transport.

The transport and logistics company Gebrüder Weiss GmbH operates a large logistics network for consolidated freight in Europe and for air and sea freight worldwide. Gebrüder Weiss GmbH enables just-in-time shipments with short transport times. The goods are collected in advance, consolidated in the local branches, forwarded to the destination terminal in the main run and delivered promptly. Due to the high number of short-term transport orders, there is great volatility in resource requirements. Much of the information required is either not available or can only be considered fragmentarily in resource planning, which leads to great uncertainties in capacity planning for delivery transports. The planners must therefore refer to empirical values in order to create corresponding resource plans. As a result, either shipments are delayed due to insufficiently planned vehicle capacities or high idle costs arise due to unused vehicle capacities. Using the example of Gebrüder Weiss GmbH, the HOPL research project shows how the uncertainty of capacity planning for delivery in groupage freight traffic can be significantly minimized by the targeted processing of large amounts of data and their use in forecast models and calculations.

 The starting point is consignment information, which is available in the “data world” of Gebrüder Weiss GmbH with varying degrees of detail. On the basis of a traffic light classification based on its accuracy for planning in “green,” “yellow” and “red,” delivery information regarding weight and volume can be made available to dispatchers in a decision support system.

 All necessary information is available for “green” shipments. They show a very high probability of actual delivery on the planning day. “Yellow” items are available in the “data world” of Gebrüder Weiss GmbH, but the information relevant for planning is not yet complete. These shipments are only taken into account with a certain probability for the planning day. From the analysis of several years of historical data, residual quantities or consignments can be derived, which in the form of a forecast model are added to the easily plannable “green” and “yellow” consignment quantities in absolute or percentage terms. This proportion is displayed as “red” consignments in the decision support system. Appropriate visualizations of the categorized transport quantities support the dispatchers with a simulation-based approach.

 The developed method makes it possible to increase the security of the relevant information from currently 30% to almost 90%. By making the right resource decisions, idle costs or penalties due to poor delivery quality can thus be avoided.

Image: © Gebrüder Weiss