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21 Nov 2018

Made in Germany: Take your transport and logistics event to the next level

World-leading companies, cutting-edge research and a commitment to innovation

Do you know what a T-pod is? If not, the term will definitely become familiar soon: Defined as an all-electric autonomous truck, the pilot for the world's first commercial use of a T-pod was launched in mid-November by German logistics giant DB Schenker and its partner Einride in Sweden, with the T-pod travelling continuously to and from a warehouse. The move to public roads is expected in the near future and the venture is just one example why the German transport and logistics sector is an innovation-driving jewel in the crown of Germany's economy - providing meeting and conference planners with a hugely attractive environment.

Top logistics performance

Let’s look at the facts and figures first: In the World Bank’s 2018 “Logistics Performance Index (LPI)” that measures the logistics performance of 160 countries Germany is for the third time in a row ranked at number one. With its state-of-the-art transportation networks, be it air, rail, waterway or autobahn, it provides quick access to domestic and international markets. Add to that its central European location with more neighbouring countries than any other and it’s not too surprising that the country is Europe’s most important logistics hub and, with cars still being the most important mode of transport, also the continent’s largest automotive market.

The might of the logistics sector is also expressed in its overall contribution to the German economy: It occupies the third position in the country’s GDP, with a turnover of 267 billion euro in 2017 and weighing just behind the international trade and automotive sectors. A good 25 percent of the overall European logistics market comes with the “made in Germany” label and the above-mentioned DB Schenker as rail operator Deutsche Bahn’s logistics arm is just one of 60,000 logistics companies. With Deutsche Post (DHL), these include the world’s largest logistics service provider and Lufthansa Cargo as one of the world’s leading global air freight companies.

Driving the transport and logistics industry forward

Now, from the perspective of a meeting planner, the sheer might of a market and presence of “big names” doesn’t necessarily cut it when deciding on the right kind of destination that adds value to an event. Innovation and thought leadership, access to industry experts and interesting networks are key and in Germany, the global leadership in the logistics and transport sector comes with a commitment to building sustainable and innovative logistics solutions to drive the industry forward and set new standards for the future. Events such as the Annual Summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) are testament to the added value Germany can bring to the table: Each year, the world’s leading conference on transport policy and the transport industry brings transport ministers from around the world, leading industry representatives and researchers to Leipzig.

Best in class resources: Tap into a variety of industry hubs across the country

Meetings and conference planners can tap into relevant transport and logistics expertise and industry hubs all across the country and destinations beyond major cities are not at all off-limits: Germany’s first class-infrastructure as one of the reasons why the country is a logistics powerhouse also makes the logistics for international event organisers easy and opens up a wide variety of destinations. If the future of mobility is your topic, Germany’s leading car manufacturers, including Audi, BMW or Volkswagen, coupled with an extensive network of innovative automotive suppliers provide a multitude of options for site visits and insights in cities such as Stuttgart, Munich, Wolfsburg or Leipzig. In Frankfurt, The House of Logistics & Mobility is a hub for innovation in the sector that brings together industry and science and, working with partners such as Fraport as the company operating Frankfurt Airport or Deutsche Post DHL, can provide valuable input and knowledge.

Or, moving beyond transport on earth, German companies and institutions also enjoy a global reputation as leaders in the aerospace industry, working on innovations in the field of engines, lightweight construction and emission reduction. Key global players operate in Germany, such as the European Space Agency's satellite control centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, and EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (Airbus, Astrium), in Bremen. Institutions such as the German Aerospace Center in Cologne provide insights into the latest research. Or how about a little taster of zero gravity at the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen? An experience your attendees will certainly not forget!