Siemens Digital Logistics Develops the Logistics of the Future

A one-stop-shop for logistics consulting and software solutions: Aiming to become a forward-looking provider of services for the digitization of logistics processes, the specialists in sorting technologies and logistics solutions at Siemens have carried out a strategic merger.
In mid-2018, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics (SPPAL) took over the logistics consulting and software company LOCOM from Karlsruhe. Not long after, the Siemens subsidiary AXIT from Frankenthal received its new name, Siemens Digital Logistics GmbH, under which all the companies were finally united at the end of 2018. “In the logistics industry there are lots of good isolated solutions,” says Uwe Schumacher, Vice President Business Development at Siemens Digital Logistics. “But by interacting on a large scale, the industry could have more influence on the whole value chain of companies and develop to become a decisive success factor.” This is where the Frankenthal-based company comes in, bundling its expertise for the comprehensive digital management of value creation networks and delivery chains. A total of 300 employees have consulting experience in 20 sectors from industry, trade and logistics.

The cloud-based logistics platform AX4 as mobile app

AXIT developed AX4, a cloud-based logistics platform for the supply chain execution sector with around 300,000 users worldwide. It standardizes the communication and control of the logistics networks of businesses and forwarders around the world, no matter how different their respective IT connections are. With the merger, Siemens Digital Logistics will now benefit from the innovative planning, simulation and optimization software provided by LOCOM’s logistics consultancy and software services.

AX4 provides all relevant supply chain data at a glance

As one of the world’s leading providers of sorting technology, SPAAL specializes in digital solutions for intralogistics in the letter, parcel and airport market – for example optimizing cargo flows in the airfreight sector.

Supply Chain Management Based on the Internet of Things

“With advancing digitization, data is created along every meter of the supply chain. Drawing the right conclusions from this data will be crucial,” Schumacher states. “To do this, you need both an innovative, high-performance IT infrastructure, and also the experience and industry expertise to generate value from data.”

Bringing together industry 4.0 and logistics 4.0 using the Internet of Things (IoT) offers huge scope for innovation. Schumacher mentions, for example, the predictive maintenance sector. “Using the relevant IoT platforms, if a machine deviates from normal operation, the required spare part is automatically ordered, the supply chain is set in motion and a service technician is booked for the installation.”

It is conceivable that projects in the airfreight sector for coordinating appointments or other land-based cargo activities between forwarders, agents and airlines could also be managed on the basis of the AX4 logistics platform. Such a concept can easily be expanded to include a real-time tracking element. The participating parties therefore benefit from an increase in the quality of information and more efficient co-ordination processes in the cargo area of the airport, says Schumacher. Siemens Digital Logistics has a worldwide network of eco-system partners for this purpose.

With the Supply Chain Suite from Siemens Digital Logistics, the data from AX4 can also be used to simulate strategic and tactical planning problems. To do this, the data is continuously analyzed in an iterative process at higher frequency and the optimized results are fed into the operative management of the airport cargo flows. According to Schumacher, this is an integral part of the “digital twin in the supply chain” from Siemens Digital Logistics.

Text: Marion Frahm
Photos & Video: Siemens