thyssenkrupp develops digitalisation for improved steel logistics

Industry players in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region have highlighted the increasing role of digitalisation in logistics and transportation at a recent conference.

Among the speakers at the ‘Logistics Digital’ meeting of the Ruhr Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Duisburg was thyssenkrupp Steel executive Arnd Köfler. “For us, digitalisation is a strategic task which we are tackling simultaneously in many areas of the steel plant, and we see considerable potential in logistics,” he said in his presentation.

In an example taken from tk Steel’s operations, he said the company now handles over 2,000 truck movements each day digitally on the basis of automated driver self-check-in. “This cuts the number of process steps from 70 to two, which saves a lot of time, reduces congestion and also improves safety and transparency,” he said.

It is mainly input from start-ups that is driving the digital transformation in logistics. Port operator Duisport for example uses artificial intelligence developed by start-up company Heuremo for its transport management processes.

Participants at the meeting emphasised however that German industry can only benefit from the advantages of digitalisation on the basis of a reliable transport infrastructure. The transport issues for the steel sector in Germany caused by low water levels on the Rhine in recent summers have shown just how co-dependant steel production and logistics are (see Kallanish passim).