Open Letter

Demands in five policy areas

In its capacity of organiser of the 34th International Supply Chain Conference and as an expert network for logistics managers in industry, trade, logistics services and academia, BVL addressed an open letter to the members of the German Bundestag parliament on October 25, 2017.

The letter names transport infrastructure, digital infrastructure, urban logistics, education and the acceleration of planning procedures as the five political action fields that are most relevant to logistics.

Transport infrastructure with bridges, roads, railways and waterways as well as air transport

The situation: in many areas, "logistics world champion" Germany subsists on its substance.

The demands: draw up a strategy to ensure long-term investment in both the maintenance and expansion of the sometimes crumbling transport infrastructure. The 2030 Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan will only address some of the dramatic bottlenecks. More needs to be done! The air transport concept also contains important measures geared towards the long-term strengthening of the German air transport industry. This concept must now be implemented!

Digital infrastructure together with digital standards and digital security

The situation: Germany is a developing country when it comes to fibre-optic cable and ranks 28th out of 32 OECD countries for the availability of fibre-optic connections. This is cause for concern, particularly as the expansion of a future-safe digital infrastructure will be key to the success of logistics. Without a digital infrastructure worthy of a logistics world champion it will not be possible to exploit the potentials offered by digitalization.

The demands: put digitalization right at the top of the political agenda and make a determined effort to expand the availability of fibre-optic connectivity. Develop a framework in which logistics can work effectively and therefore in a way that spares resources. The creation of a Ministry for Digitalization would send out a strong and visible signal.


Interdisciplinary solutions for urban logistics

The situation: congestion, noise, emissions and bottlenecks in the inner cities are impacting industry and society – as well as our environment. There are many excellent standalone solutions, but there is no common roadmap geared towards holistic solutions that takes account of the concerns of all stakeholders. Even model trials developed by industry to improve processes are delayed for months by the red tape of approval procedures.

The demands: make urban logistics a high-priority issue and lay down a marker for constructive collaboration between policymakers, local administrations, urban planners, industry, public transport and the local people. The experts in the logistics sector offer their support!

School-based education, vocational training and academic learning as a cross-generational means of preparing people for the digital future

The situation: in a BVL survey 82 percent of respondents across all sectors said that the skill shortage in the logistics field will negatively impact the success of companies during the next ten years. We see the digitalization of processes as a means of offsetting the skill shortage by improving efficiency levels. At the same time, however, existing personnel and potential new employees also have to be equipped to handle the challenges of a new, digitised working world. The only way to achieve this is to adapt the curricula and teaching methods in all types of schools.

The demands: work together with the competent authorities in the regional states to remove outdated teaching content from the curricula – and implement a school and education policy that paves the way for an internationally competitive education system. 

Acceleration of planning procedures and project implementation

The situation: planning procedures lasting 20 years or more negatively affect the development of infrastructure in Germany. This is an issue that Chancellor Merkel also raised in public in July 2017. The funds for this investment are readily available – but administrative and decision-making processes often do not cater to today's needs. The federal structure of the country slows down these processes, in particular when it comes to large-scale infrastructure projects.

The demand: create central decision-making structures, at least for large-scale projects across national borders. This is the only way to avoid the wrong decisions and delays that often result from stakeholders pushing their special interests.