Think different – Act digital

by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raimund Klinkner and Prof. Dr. Robert Balcckburn

Dear Members,
dear Readers,

In October 2017, BVL sent an open letter to the members of the German Bundestag parliament. The letter outlined transport infrastructure, digital infrastructure, urban logistics, education and the acceleration of planning procedures as the five political fields of action that are of most relevance to logistics. BVL not only called on policymakers to take action, however, but also offered to work together to develop the necessary strategies. This is just one example of how BVL uses its unique status as a network and an impartial association to advance the interests of logistics across all sectors and to ensure that the logistics industry is heard in the halls of power. This is something for which BVL is valued by its members and by other entities beyond the confines of the association.

The theme for the year 2017 was "Think different – Act digital". We were able to see how logistics managers in all areas of industry are in the process of putting new technological options into practice. As the guest of honour at our conference, former German President Joachim Gauck called on employees in the sector not to let themselves be overwhelmed by technology. "We won't be without work, but we must be ready for new forms of work", Gauck said. It is this kind of mindset that laid the foundation for the conference theme and the theme for 2018 adopted by the BVL Board in November – namely "Digitalization Meets Reality".

In these exciting times, there is also a change at the helm of the BVL Board after eleven years – a planned change and one based on the association's statutes. There will be two big dates in the early part of the new President's term in office – the association will celebrate its 40th birthday on April 18, and in October BVL will be hosting the 35th International Supply Chain Conference. When BVL was founded, logistics was still in the process of becoming an independent discipline. Today, logistics is one of the core fields of expertise of the German economy. Since it was created, BVL has been at the heart of the industry – as a source of information, a communication platform, a knowledge and expert network, and a community that benefits and brings joy to all those involved.

With heartfelt thanks for our joint efforts during the past eleven years and in great anticipation of the things we will develop together in the future,

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raimund Klinkner,  President until December 31, 2017                                                                           

Prof. Dr. Robert Blackburn, President from January 1, 2018

"BVL uses its unique status as a network and an impartial association to advance the interests of logistics across all sectors and to ensure that the logistics industry is heard in the halls of power."