On August 3 and 4, Heidecksburg Castle in Rudolstadt became once again the venue for the SMART CITY LOGISTIK (SCL) Congress. For two days, about 125 participants from politics, research and the logistics industry discussed the future of sustainable and cost-efficient logistics as well as the role of electromobility in this context.
After last year’s SCL Congress had to be cancelled due to the corona pandemic, no effort was spared this year to implement hygiene and safety measures that could guarantee a direct exchange. Hence, the maximum number of participants was quickly achieved via pre-registration. Together with the broad media presence, this showed an unbroken interest in an exchange of information and innovative ideas far beyond a professional audience. Even the weather gods showed themselves gracious to active networking under the open sky on both congress days.
Thomas Becker, CEO of DAKO GmbH and consortium manager of the SMART MULTI-USE LOGISTIK (SML) research project, gave the event’s welcoming address. In doing so, he also launched the SML project officially after one year of research.
In his speech, Becker also referred to the long tradition of the SCL congresses, providing impetus for new developments and networking opportunities in the transportation sector for eight years now.
The following two opening addresses from federal and state political perspectives reinforced the increasing relevance of an ongoing dialogue concerning the central matters of the congress. First, Christian Liebich, Head of Division at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), spoke about environmentally friendly visions for city logistics. Then Olaf Möller, State Secretary at the Thuringian Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation, focused on the importance of combining different transport tasks.
The e-mobility sector and the registration of one million electric vehicles in Germany, in particular, provide cause for optimism. [...] At the same time, the corona crisis also exposed weaknesses, especially in the area of digitalisation.
The remaining part of the morning was dedicated to the SMART MULTI-USE LOGISTIK research project, which was presented in theory and practice by four of the nine partners from the consortium. In addition to Dr. Tina Haußen from DAKO GmbH, Thorsten Kniep from Mediengruppe Magdeburg, Christian Voigt from Mediengruppe Mitteldeutsche Zeitung and Christian Schwarzer from UPS Germany spoke.
Mastering the balancing act between ecology and economy
The economic viability of green logistics was the main focus of the talks given during the afternoon. New developments for integrated solar modules concepts for exchanging batteries for e-vehicle fleets or modifications for converting diesel-powered vehicles to electric power were only some of the specific topics presented. Further field reports of experts from media logistics and local public transport centred on profitability and integrative approaches to transportation and deliveries.
Following the presentations and discussions in the Reitsaal of Heidecksburg Castle, all participants were able to experience electromobility first-hand. Numerous exhibitors of electric vehicles on-site were available for test drives as well as questions and informal exchanges.
Debating the future in a historic setting
The second day of the SMART CITY LOGISTIK congress was dedicated to direct dialogue with experts from enterprises in vehicle construction, logistics and IT. Robert Domina from the specialist publisher HUSS presented the “VISION mobility THINK TANK”, debating parcel delivery with cargo bikes in inner-city areas.
Last but not least, three parallel workshops made it possible to continue working on particular issues more intensely. The workshops covered on-road tests of various electrically powered commercial vehicles, technical innovations in delivery technology, and the role of standardisation for smooth shipment exchange between logistics companies.
At the end of the event, all participants agreed that innovative transport solutions have already outgrown their infancy. It is now a matter of sharing knowledge and working on individual technical and infrastructural problems to achieve sustainable solutions for future logistics.