Who keeps the world moving?

By Frank Felten, head of product management logistics at PTV Group.

Ever thought of the distance, your chicken sandwich has travelled until it ended up at its final destination in your stomach? Well – not personally around yours but generally – PTV Group did. The company provides software and consulting for traffic, transport logistics and geomarketing, which helps to save 15 million kilometers, almost 5 million liters of diesel and roughly 15.000 tons of CO2 every day...

As human elements of the IT ecosystem we all know, that IT solutions sometimes give headaches. But IT is not the only complex domain – have you ever thought about traffic, transportation and logistics? About the networks, process and (supply-) chains that have to silently perform for the sake of all of us. Ensuring that the participants to our business meetings arrive on time, that our online-store orders ship on schedule, that raw materials get delivered to manufacturers' plants as requested and that the cold chain for important medicine is not interrupted during distribution to the pharmacy?

In a more and more work-sharing and globalized world, transportation and logistics are at the heart of a functioning economy. But at the same time an increasing list of "impacts" have to be dealt with – which make the life of many actors in transportation and logistics extremely challenging:

  • Volatility and dynamics of markets, rules and processes has accelerated dramatically throughout the past years. Economic Activity goes up and down much faster, buying behavior underlies massive change (just think of logistics around eCommerce) and politics and regulation are permanently setting new rules for our accelerated existence.
  • Increasing backlogs for infrastructure construction and renewal projects in public authorities – financing mostly unsolved. Unfortunately this insight is worth nothing, if your trucks get permanently stuck in traffic jams.
  • Next nightmare: the growing level of compliance requirements. Treating hazardous goods in a special way, entering environmental zones only with the right label at your windscreen, observe drive and rest times with extreme accuracy, be clever with various tolling and tax schemes and tariffs – that is hardly manageable anymore. Most of those rules are for good cause, but how can you keep control as a freight forwarder?
  • With increasing environmental legislation and consumer behavior changing towards "sustainable consumption", companies and authorities have to prepare for greener mobility. Yes, saving resources mostly goes with saving money, but you really need to change to get your business moved into a more efficient and sustainable future.
  • UNO expects 70 % of the world's population to live in cities in 2050. It has been 30 % in 1950 – quite a challenge for all actors dealing with supply and mobility in these Mega-Cities.

I could extend this list for pages, but we can also cut this story short: Permanent need to do more with less – this is the mother of all challenges in transportation and logistics.

Who provides you with the means to ensure, that a heart's wish can be fulfilled in a heartbeat?

There are software solutions for automatic trip planning and dispatching, which help Lekkerland, one of the biggest wholesale dealers for food, convenience products and tobacco, to just save roughly one earth circulation (in terms of travelled distance) every day, as they tell in a nice little video on Youtube. This equals a multi-million saving per year for this company and it means tons of CO2 not emitted to the environment for the benefit of all of us. And we could just add companies like TNT, DHL but also many small and medium size shippers and logistics service providers. With its current customer base PTV Group Logistics Software accounts for DAILY savings of 15 million kilometers, almost 5 million liters of diesel and roughly 15.000 tons of Co2.

Who gives you the extra-time to achieve your aim of a full stadium long before the kick-off?

If you don't follow user "@newsfromfta" (the British Freight Transport Associaton's channel) on Twitter, you might have missed a tweet sent out on August 8, 2012: "Deliveries in and around London during the #Olympics seem to be running smoothly! Well done to operators for all their pre-planning!" Intelligent traffic planning and simulation tools were heavily used by the London transport authorities to create the smart plans and scenarios for optimal traffic liquidity during the London Olympics 2012. They have probably looked at Beijing, Vancouver or a few other Olympic organizers before – there are many ways to find PTV Groups leading traffic planning and management solutions applied in the world.

There is someone, who keeps things going!

As said above – the challenge is to do more with less! But don't be too pessimistic: There is someone in IT who turns the challenge around: If you have to do more with less, use smart intelligence to release the physical scope you need for success.

In the area of Logistics Software PTV Group provides ready-to-use software and cloud services for small and medium sized businesses. The Microsoft Azure based product PTV Map&Guide internet as an example is used by hundreds of companies based on a simple subscription price of 49,- € per month. It mainly addresses pre-trip cost calculation, transport efficiency and transport compliancy. But the portfolio stretches up to high end multi-user logistics solutions, coming as full featured dispatching working environments which are being integrated to ERP and TMS systems. Finally, PTV also provides its transport optimization intelligence in the form of APIs for developers and IT experts, who benefit from seamless integration of geographical and logistics features into their process chain and user frontends. APIs are provided based on shipped software components or based on managed services running in Windows Azure.

In the area of Traffic Software, PTV is market leader for traffic planning and traffic simulation tools with installations in more than 100 countries worldwide. The application scope of those solutions ranges from macroscopic planning and simulation (regions) down to single crossings of the traffic network. And the tools are able to handle all kinds of traffic modes: from pedestrians via public and individual transport down to airport simulations. Besides planning and simulation PTV Group also has a strong stake in operational traffic management and control, helping authorities to enable the "Green Wave" or other strategies in traffic operation.

About PTV Group
The PTV Group provides software and consulting for traffic, transport logistics and geomarketing. Be it transport routes or sales structures, private or public transport  – we plan and optimise everything which moves people and goods worldwide. The company's range of products and services includes Concepts & Solutions, Software & Services, Components and Data & Content. Customers in more than 100 countries rely on our solutions. PTV's software tools enable private and public sector organisations to perform their everyday tasks in a highly efficient manner. Right at the forefront, the company's market-leading product  PTV Map&Guide for transport route planning and the Vision Traffic Suite for traffic & transport planning and traffic simulation. Scientific expertise is one of our particular strengths. PTV run projects in a goal-based and practice-oriented manner. Currently, we have over 650 employees worldwide crafting powerful and innovative solutions. Our head office, which is located in the technology region of Karlsruhe, Germany, has been the centre of development and innovation since the formation of our company in 1979. For more information, visit: www.ptvgroup.com

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