New Players in The Logistics Sector

Start-ups focus on new technologies and customer value

Things are moving in the logistics sector. New enterprises are developing new business models and changing best practice for interacting with customers. The start-up scene has hit the logistics sector.

It’s also a hot topic at KLU – from both a theoretical point of view and a hands-on perspective. “Many of the new logistics players were born in the digital world and adopt new technologies readily,” said André Ludwig, Associate Professor of Computer Science in Logistics at KLU.

“It was never easier to quickly launch a new IT system with minimal costs than it is today. These young entrepreneurs are agile, adapting quickly to market changes and radically focusing on the customer,” Dimka Karastoyanova, Associate Professor of Data Science and Business Intelligence, added.

“Most of today’s logistics start-ups build on technologies for convenient end customer access and interaction, i.e., mobile apps and portals. They use cloud platforms for transparency and controlling coordination across fragmented supply chains,” explained Ludwig. “And they rely on a variety of data sources and different types of data analysis to predict what is likely to take place in the future, which facilitates anticipatory delivery and improved operations,” said Karastoyanova.

To put theory into practice, KLU hosted Logistics Start-up Day in January, organized by two of its professors, André Ludwig and Hanno Friedrich. Eleven start-ups introduced themselves to an audience of around 170 participants that day, and KLU students had the chance to discuss business models and strategies with the entrepreneurs. One of the frequently asked questions was: “What does it take for a start-up to be successful?”

Christina Raasch, Associate Professor for Digital Economy, researches this topic and can give a scientific answer: “First of all, start-ups should have insight into an actual customer need, ideally as a result of personal experience. Another useful asset is the identification of a market failure and an inspired way of overcoming it. And finally, there is a little bit of luck involved. You need the right people at the right time.”


Read more about KLU Logistics Start-Up Day.