The growing volumes of traffic and freight as well as the shortage of drivers and resources pose new challenges to the logistics sector: How to make transport, in particular by motor trucks, more efficient and thus less costly? And how can it be more sustainable and reliable at the same time? By digitalizing, automating and interlinking the processes pertaining to freights and tours, say ETO GRUPPE from Stockach and the deep-tech start-up Swarm Logistics from Stuttgart. From now on, they intend to pursue this goal together and have sealed their future cooperation with the investment of ETO GRUPPE in the software company. "With our longtime experience in the commercial vehicle industry, our great variety of vehicle components, and the innovative software technology by Swarm Logistics, we now have the opportunity to become trailblazers of the logistics industry," says Dr. Michael Schwabe happily, CEO of ETO GRUPPE. "Together we will contribute significantly to the transportation of the future."
The two companies got to know each other at the High Tech Summit in Friedrichshafen, Germany, in 2020. Here, Swarm Logistics introduced themselves as one of the finalists of the Cyber One High Tech Award of Baden-Württemberg (cyberone.de). Benjamin Bönisch, VP Strategy & Corporate Development of ETO, and Damir Dulović, CEO of Swarm Logistics, quickly agreed on cooperating in the disruptive project of applying distributed ledger technology to transportation. For this technology enables unacquainted participants of a logistics network to benefit from each other rather than to compete with one another.
ETO: Smooth and Efficient Processes in Transportation
For 70 years now, ETO GRUPPE has set global standards in the field of valves, actuators, sensors and modules for the greatest variety of machines and vehicles. In the commercial vehicle industry, there is already no getting around their products. By far the most actuators and sensors installed in motor trucks were produced by ETO, but they do not intend to rest on their laurels, says Schwabe. "It is our corporate philosophy to constantly enhance our products and applications and to ensure reliable, smooth and efficient processes in all of our sectors." This also applies to the commercial vehicle sector. "Whereas in the industrial sector processes have been successfully optimized by now under the 'Industry 4.0' movement, these efforts are only slightly developed in the area of transportation logistics. Together with Swarm Logistics, we intend to change this."
Swarm Logistics: Fully Automated Coordination of Vehicle Fleets
Swarm Logistics, a technology venture founded in Stuttgart in 2018, develop software for the dynamic scheduling of resources and vehicle fleets. Swarm Logistics create models of so-called digital business twins of vehicles based on artificial intelligence. These digital twins are able to take decisions autonomously and to organize themselves in a fleet via distributed ledger technology. Thus, vehicles and fleets coordinate like swarms without centralized control. "You could say that the software takes on the work of a material manager and reduces the planning time by up to 95 percent. Each vehicle is a profit center in itself and has the intelligence to assess freights and tours, to know when to go where, which way to choose, which freight to load or unload, and the costs thereof," explains Damir Dulović. "As a result of optimized planning, less vehicles are needed for the same amount of transportation orders, and fuel is saved due to optimized routing. All in all, this will save up to 35 percent of the total costs."
The Goal: Fully Interlinked, Digitalized and Automated Transportation Processes
With ETO's first-class vehicle components which provide important data, and Swarm Logistics' software which uses these data for the optimization of driver and vehicle capacities, loading processes, as well as network planning and routing, two important technologies for fully interlinked, digitalized and automated transportation processes are in place. Another groundbreaking project with other partners is being planned, Schwabe reveals, but the details shall not to disclosed right now.