OpenLogistics.net supports logistics
#WirVsVirus: how a free online platform supports logistics
The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic surprised us all. Digital viruses can get to IT professionals from time to time – that's nothing new. But who would have thought just three months ago that an analog virus would upend our society and economy so quickly? And now we are in the middle of it. It has presented challenges to all of us, and we need to find ways to contribute to common good to the extent of our abilities. That is why we participated in what might be the biggest hackathon yet: using the hashtag #WeVsVirus, we, like thousands of other participants, had 48 hours to implement an idea that would help alleviate a challenge created by this crisis. Joined by three other people from the IT infrastructure and programming departments, we managed to develop the portal and put it online in just two days. For some it was a sunny weekend, for us it was the longest Friday night ever.
Free of charge and freely accessible for everyone
Our platform, OpenLogistics.net, has been free of charge and accessible for everyone ever since. The idea behind it: Employees can quickly and easily report online whether their company is closed or whether someone can accept deliveries at the site. This eases the burden on logistics providers' supply chains because they can check whether a delivery is even possible before placing it on a truck. That frees up transport capacity for important and deliverable goods and avoids unnecessary delivery attempts, full trucks and overloaded warehouses. By enabling information to be shared between shippers, forwarders, and consignees early on, OpenLogistics.net keeps the transport chain intact even when resources are limited. An algorithm detects duplicate addresses and different spellings of companies and automatically merges them. The data is retrieved either via the website search mask, via REST API or different export formats.
Join in and keep supply chains free
The platform thrives above all on the exchange and participation of all its contributors: the more companies that register, the more effective logistics can be. Just one week after going live, it is clear that we have started something important. And on 30 March, we learned that we are one of the 20 winners of the hackathon. Which obviously brings a big smile to our faces. Companies from very different economic sectors have signed up with OpenLogistics.net. We are thrilled with every single company that supports the project and so helps to keep supply chains moving smoothly for all of us. The community participates in evaluating the entries: to avoid abuse, results can be voted up or down. That way, every participant helps us to keep data quality high.