Will robots be the workers of tomorrow’s warehouses – and my boss will be an algorithm? How can humans and machines work together “hand in hand”? Will eForwarders be the actors in charge of organizing transport chains in the future? In which areas can new (information) technologies support logistics and transport services and are they accepted by the persons actually using these technologies?
Finding answers to these questions is the motivation for the work at our department. Our research program aims to methodically and instrumentally support the planning and development of logistics and transportation services. Analogous to product development the program can also be described as Logistics and Transportation Service Engineering. Apart from planning and developing new logistics and transportation services, our research group also studies measures to improve existing logistics systems and business models (Business Development).
Emerging technologies increasingly support human work in planning as well as in fulfilling logistics and transportation services. While IT-based systems can be used to support human decision-makers in planning and order processing, the operative realization of logistics and transportation services is mainly influenced by the interaction between humans and machines. The so-called human-machine interaction is supposed to increase the performance and efficiency of logistics services and to support human work to the best possible level – without restricting the flexibility of manual processes.
Especially the high dependence from the externally determined demand along with the non-storability of logistics and transportation services as well as uncertainties in processes lead to big challenges for the methodical and instrumental support in Logistics and Transportation Engineering. Therefore, simulation models are the focal point of our research to cope with the special challenges and uncertainties in logistics and transportation for different scenarios. In this context, simulation experiments enable the profound selection of suitable service configurations.
To answer the questions raised above, we structured our research along three research focuses “Warehouse Management and Intralogistics Systems”, “Transport Management” and “Management of Logistics and Production Networks” which take up selected aspects of Logistics and Transportation Service Engineering.