Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Digitale Speditionen in der Lebensmittellogistik

Michel, Viktor and Siegfried, Patrick (2021): Digitale Speditionen in der Lebensmittellogistik. Published in: logistics journal (2 February 2021): pp. 1-15.

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Digital freight forwarders are flooding the logistics market with disruptive business models" says a blog post by the German Logistics Association. This statement indicates that as part of the digital transformation, the traditional and established forwarding business is being changed by new business models and the rules of the game in the industry are being redefined. These business models use machine learning technology in order to be able to better forecast the flow of goods or prices in advance. In theory, this makes it possible to plan better utilization of the vehicles and promote the transparency of transport prices. [Schi18] Whether these business models will completely "disrupt" the future of the forwarding industry or is just a current trend cannot be determined at the moment. A company that describes itself as a "digital freight forwarder" is subject to the same legal rights and obligations as defined in the Commercial Code (§454) for traditional freight forwarders (in short: procurement of shipments). Nevertheless, the process of digital forwarding differs from traditional forwarding. The business process of a digital freight forwarder essentially corresponds in its function to that of the freight exchange. This means that a digital freight forwarder offers a digital platform in which shippers and carriers are brought together as required. In contrast to the freight exchange, however, the prices between the load and the means of transport are not negotiated with each other but are assigned by an algorithm. The second difference to the freight exchange and at the same time a decisive factor for identification as a freight forwarder is that digital freight forwarders act as fixed-cost freight forwarders on the Internet and thus appear as contractual partners between shippers and carriers "at the click of a mouse".

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