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Dachser has entered into a partnership with German research society the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics to develop innovative solutions.
Its employees will work alongside Fraunhofer researchers at the newly created Dachser Enterprise Lab in Dortmund.
Dachser chief executive Bernhard Simon said collaboration with universities and other partners had “for many years been a mainstay” of the company’s corporate strategy.
He added: “The Dachser Enterprise Lab adds key competencies to our internal research and development capacity, and gives us flexible access to specialists.
“Fraunhofer IML possesses outstanding expertise, state-of-the-art laboratories and a wide range of motivated and creative researchers. When coupled with the longstanding experience of Dachser’s logistics experts, we believe this will further accelerate the company’s rate of innovation.”
Director for corporate solutions, research and development Stefan Hohm said there were multiple advantages from working with academics, foremost of which was the ability to “flexibly boost” Dachser’s access to knowledge and research and development resources.
“Bringing the business knowhow of logistics experts and the scientific knowledge of Fraunhofer IML together creates a win-win situation for both partners.”
Describing Fraunhofer as “very much practice-oriented” in its research, he added it possesses “vast” experience in partnering with companies.
Managing director of Fraunhofer Michael ten Hompel said Enterprise Labs had been set up to transfer research results over to products or business models as quickly as possible.
“It puts us in a position where we can flexibly and speedily put new technologies, trends, or business strategies into practice and efficiently determine our priorities.”
Mr Hohm told The Loadstar any developments would be specifically for use by Dachser.
“The developments are meant to be specifically for across-the-board deployment in the Dachser Road Logistics and Air & Sea Logistics networks.”
The decision to keep developments in-house contrasts with Deutsche Post-DHL’s innovation centre in Bonn, which is expanding production to cater for third-party sales.
This month, DHL announced it was looking to roll out 20,000 of its Street Scooter e-vehicles a year, adding an additional 78,000sq metre warehouse in Duren to meet demand.