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Knowledge is power. This is especially true when it comes to Logistics 4.0. New technologies enable users to monitor a wealth of information about any product or component in real time. This, in turn, enables appropriate counteraction to be taken at the first sign of any bottlenecks or problems in the production process – and, of course, substantially boosts efficiency. The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO has tested the usability of a host of digital object detection technologies in the logistics sector. The result is a 58-page study , including a evaluation matrix: This shows which techniques or options are best suited for which potential fields of application.

“Logistics 4.0 is when you have 4 trucks but 0 drivers,” says transportation export Professor Dirk Engelhardt in Bavarian newspaper “Mittelbayerische Zeitung”, quoting one of his colleagues. The term has been so coined to highlight another challenge, one that, despite automation, is equally as pressing for the sector: the increasing shortage of workers.