Digitalization and Big Data in Logistics

In the last lecture on February 26th, 2016 we defined logistic management as the management of material and information flow and talked about how the importance of the information flow has been underestimated for a long time. In my previous job as student research assistant I learned a lot about Industry 4.0 and digitalization which vastly increases the amount of data collected. This large amount of data is also called big data. The picture below shows how the amount of data will grow within the next years.

big data


As it seems to be an important trend that affects logistics I decided to dig deeper into digitalization which enlarges the information flow in a significant matter.

I found a video about the trade fare “transport logistic 2015” for logistics, mobility, IT and supply chain management in Munich ( They show different examples on how real-time information can be used in order to increase transparency and efficiency and avoid unplanned costs for different transportation modes (minutes 1:39 until 2:55). At the end the Chairman of the Executive Board BVL concludes that a lot of things will change within the industry due to the ongoing digitalization. Moreover they assume that every third successful business model of today will probably no longer exist in 2020.

The video of BIBA ( talks more about the technologies that can be used in order to digitalize logistics. Currently telematics, RFID and various sensor systems are used to digitalize the physical logistic process. As nowadays the position of a vehicle is usually known they are now working on identifying the conditions of goods as well as possible manipulation of the good. Watch minutes 0:54 to 2:02 to see how this works.

All in all I can conclude that even though digitalization can pose a challenge at first it has the potential to improve logistics significantly and make our lives a lot easier.

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