KLU talks Business … with Dr. Nils Gimpel-Henning, KRONE FLEET Deutschland

Data-rich, but insight-poor? Many companies know the problem. Affordable sensors and fast data connections provide lots of information, but to use it you need a strategy. Located near Hamburg, logistics specialist KRONE FLEET Deutschland tackles this subject with Kühne Logistics University (KLU). In this interview Nils Gimpel-Henning, MD KRONE Fleet-Group, discusses how in the future new business models will emerge from a wealth of data.

Research findings are to serve in planning the implementation of data-driven fleet management and derivable business models at KRONE FLEET and will be published as scientific articles in prestigious international journals.

Since the summer you’ve been heading up strategy, development, organization, and process at KRONE Fleet-Group. How is the job fun for you? And when did you have the feeling, “Now I understand the company’s DNA”?

Nils Gimpel-Henning: I’ll start with the last question. Our company’s DNA is greatly influenced by our ownership structure. As part of an international, yet family-run consortium, values such as customer proximity, commitment, and certainly a healthy pragmatism, continue to stand out. I was fortunate enough to personally experience this “DNA” in my previous position as an assistant to the board of the group holding company – for example, in board meetings with the KRONE family.

Because the "DNA" and I are a good match, I have great fun on the job. In all areas, from distribution and operations to IT, at KRONE FLEET I’m also able to tackle tasks and initiate changes – which of course are needed again and again – with my fellow managers. Fittingly, that’s precisely my responsibility as manager of the divisions I mentioned.

What live data are KRONE FLEET’s rental trucks – their individual parts, semi-trailers, and container chassis – currently transmitting? To whom, and what happens with them?

Nils Gimpel-Henning: A whole lot. Starting with GPS location. Most important for the second step are technical data, from EBS data readings on breaks and loading to tire pressure and coupling sensors. Of course with refrigerated transport, temperature control is paramount. Temperature reports, default alarms, and refrigerator data are continuously monitored, transmitted, and documented over time. There’s much more information, such as the refrigerator fuel gage and the tailgates’ locking status.

Most of the data are pushed to our customers, freight forwarders and carriers, who use them for operational freight and fleet management. Applications include the calculation of ETAs, or as I mentioned, refrigerated cargo monitoring. As the fleet owners, we also have great interest in the various data, and this is where our cooperation with KLU factors in.

Your company funds a KLU PhD position for a joint research project. What’s the goal there, and why did you decide on KLU as a partner?

Nils Gimpel-Henning: Even today we use various data to optimize our fleet, as with maintenance and repair, for example, to be able to provide our customers with the best possible rental experience and to maximize uptime at the lowest rental price possible. In the future, information from which we can derive transportation efficiency while considering sustainability will be increasingly in demand. Telematics data are indispensable for all of these issues.

At the same time, this abundance of information undoubtedly presents us with challenges. We’re convinced that modern methods of evaluation and analysis can tap further potential. That’s where we’re counting on KLU’s network and expertise.

In three words, what does KLU stand for to you?

Nils Gimpel-Henning: Logistics. Innovation. Internationality.

Thank you for the interview!

About KRONE FLEET Deutschland
KRONE FLEET is a company in the family-owned KRONE Group that specializes in renting semi-trailers in 10 countries. The fleet has more than 15,000 rolling units in use in almost all major logistics companies in Europe.