Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Rio digitises Volkswagen logistics

Steve Rogerson
October 15, 2019

German lorry maker Traton, through its Rio digital services brand, is helping Volkswagen streamline its logistics processes.
Rio and Volkswagen Group Logistics plan to develop a digital method for the car maker’s transport logistics with the aim of savings amounting to millions of euros.
Volkswagen Group Logistics is one of the logistics companies in Germany with the highest turnover. In Europe alone, it coordinates a daily average of 18,000 lorry transports in a network of suppliers, production sites, sales markets and dealers. It is managing a constantly increasing flow of materials and goods with 13 group brands and requires efficient and future-proof IT to meet this challenge.
“There is a huge amount of complexity involved in our business,” said Thomas Zernechel, head of Volkswagen Group Logistics. “The planned cooperation with Rio will allow us to push ahead with digitisation in the transport sector and gain more transparency. This will enable us to optimally control and continue to finely tune our business to perfection. Optimising utilisation by further reducing empty runs and idle times will also help us to achieve our climate protection goals.”
More than 150 forwarders work with the Volkswagen Group. In the future, each lorry in this network is to be registered in the same digital environment.
Rio will create the basis for these digital services. The brand has been developing a cloud-based logistics platform since 2016 to support all parties of the delivery chain in digitising their business. Rio is manufacturer-independent and can therefore be used in all lorry brands.
The company will develop tailor-made services for Volkswagen Group Logistics, which will make the supply of parts at sites of the group (inbound logistics) and the delivery of fully assembled vehicles (outbound logistics) more efficient. This includes tracking consignments as well as integrating different systems to collect and use data efficiently – for example, for supply management, freight billing and container control.
“Cloud-based digital solutions based at the interface between freight and forwarder have the potential to significantly increase our efficiency,” said Matthias Braun, head of material logistics digitalisation at Volkswagen Group Logistics. “Rio’s digital expertise and open approach makes it the ideal partner for us. We are also going on this platform with our volume to send a signal to the market. We hope that others will follow suit so that logistics based on transparent processes will become more efficient for everyone.”
For Rio, this cooperation opens up the market for technology that is initially tailor-made for the automotive sector. With an eye to the future, it should, however, form the basis for all forwarding relevant services.
“The forwarders’ world is the premium class of logistics,” said Rio CEO Jan Kaumanns. “Its complex delivery chains need a smart product to bring all the participants into the same digital environment. At Rio, we are very happy to accept this challenge. As telematics OEM of Man and with the Rio-Box as a brand-neutral, retrofittable component, Rio is in an excellent position to bridge the gap between the control tasks of Group Logistics and implementing the tasks of transport logistics on the road. We are proud to be contributing our digital competence to a partnership with such an important player on the market and are looking forward to the collaboration.”
Rio and VW Group Logistics are also planning a lasting corporate partnership that goes beyond the technical cooperation.
“The logical step for us is to conclude a permanent master agreement with Volkswagen Group Logistics that will put our collaboration on a solid basis as quickly as possible,” said Kaumanns.
The Traton Group launched its digital brand Rio in 2016, with open, cloud-based technology for the entire transportation and logistics ecosystem. Rio offers a package of digital services that interconnects everyone involved in the supply chain on a unified platform. Previously, it often was not possible to use data transparently in the transportation industry because different companies used different stand-alone systems. Rio is cloud-based and can be used with any make of vehicle.