The Supermarket Shelves Are Empty

Hanno Friedrich in the KLU faculty lounge

Research project for a secure food supply

When several public holidays occur back to back and the stores are closed, we get an idea of what it must be like when the supermarket shelves gradually empty out and certain products are difficult or impossible to purchase. In the wake of natural disasters or other crises, products are not the only things that disappear from view. Part of the food supply could be seriously disrupted for longer periods of time when the logistics processes in the distribution of goods no longer function smoothly. The academics in the SEAK project (Simulation-based decision making support for interdisciplinary crisis management) are researching the extent to which consumers and retailers are really endangered by scenarios like these and which measures and information support risk and crisis management.

In this workshop, the SEAK project group will share current information on its exciting, practice-related research results and be available to interested experts and the public for discussion. They will also present the systems and guiding principles for decision-making support in bottleneck situations that make the transparent mapping of goods flows and analysis of the various causes and consequences of supply bottlenecks possible. In the corporate context, the approaches developed can also be used for issues in network planning, risk management and market analysis. The experts will also present recommendations for preventive and reactive measures in risk and crisis management based on the results of three scenarios: an IT failure, a strike and a heat wave of above-average length. Discussion to follow.

Date:   December 10, 2015
Time:  11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Place:  Kühne Logistics University, Großer Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

Since modern logistics networks feature a high level of interconnection, they are particularly vulnerable to disruptions during crisis situations. “At these times, an interdisciplinary supply chain and risk management approach becomes essential,” said Dr. Hanno Friedrich, assistant professor at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. At the same time, the measures must be integrated into company systems, because according to Friedrich: “using stock solutions for events that only occur occasionally does not satisfy practical requirements.”

The SEAK ( research project is funded with €2 million as part of the Security Research Program of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The group consists of Kühne Logistics University (KLU), TU Darmstadt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 4flow AG, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Dialogik gGmbH and well-known application partners.

Please register via e-mail: seak(at)
Registration deadline: November 30, 2015 (Participation is free of charge.)