- Twelfth congress in the series attended by record number of guests
- Experts discuss transport and logistics trends
- Celebrity chef Nelson Müller takes to the stage
Wiehl, 26.09.2017 --- Every two years BPW Group, which ranks among the pioneers and innovation leaders of the transport and logistics sector, invites high-ranking experts and decision-makers to its industry congress Wiehler Forum. Records tumbled at this year’s upbeat gathering, headlined “Harnessing curiosity as a motivational force”.
The transport and logistics industry has discovered a rather unusual source of motivation, namely curiosity. The recent biennial Wiehler Forum hosted by BPW Group brought together a host of prominent experts, decision-makers and media representatives to discuss innovative strategies, technologies and business models. The title selected for this year’s congress was “Harnessing curiosity as a motivational force”.
BPW’s head of sales and board member Carlo Lazzarini comments, “The German logistics segment leads the European market with annual revenues of one trillion euros. By fostering innovation, it is seeking to manage the growing transport volumes and the rapid increase in city centre delivery traffic prompted by online retailing. At the same time, it knows that it has to steel itself for the possibility of fresh competition from Silicon Valley. There’s never been a more pressing need to engage in conversation.”
The congress was attended by 150 guests – the largest figure recorded since the series started in 1993. In addition, the programme was extended to span two whole days for the first time.
Autonomous freight to precede driverless vehicles
The 2017 Wiehler Forum generated a lot of interest among prominent industry leaders, including senior managers from the likes of UPS, MAN and Schenker, and practically all of Germany’s major haulage companies. It was also attended by 16 members of the trade press, who were eager to learn more about the industry’s innovation strategies. Among the topics of debate were new ways of enhancing the efficiency of transport both within towns and cities and between major conurbations, typically by exploiting big data and by managing routes and timetables in real time; and by way of platooning; driverless vehicles; and electric drive systems. In future, logistics companies are likely to be making greater use of the data highway as a fast track to success. A key role in this context will be played by the digitally interconnected trailer – no longer an appendage of the tractor unit, but in future itself a driving force of the transport industry. BPW took the opportunity provided by the congress to showcase a new technology capable of realising the vision of absolute transparency in the transport segment – with goods communicating autonomously with telematics, resource management and production systems.
Future to be shaped by attitude and openness towards others
For Michael Pfeiffer, who as managing general partner of BPW hosted the forum, the future will be shaped not only by technology, but also by attitude. He remarks, “Curiosity holds the key to innovation. It’s not something that can be orchestrated from above. Innovation depends instead on our ability to create a culture of trust, in which employees and their ideas can thrive. That entails fostering mavericks as well, and being open to concepts that look beyond the horizons of our industry.”
A fine example of how to push the boundaries was provided during the evening programme by young celebrity chef Nelson Müller. He not only treated the guests to innovative food creations, but also demonstrated hidden talents as a singer and all-round entertainer. As an acknowledged food industry expert, he also gave an interview about the future of eating habits and the current trend towards online food retailing, which is presenting new challenges to the logistics segment, typically in connection with same-day and same-hour deliveries.
About BPW Bergische Achsen KG
BPW Bergische Achsen KG is the parent company of the BPW Group. With more than 1,600 employees, including around 120 trainees, the family-run company has been developing and producing complete running gear systems for truck trailers and semi-trailers at its headquarters in Wiehl since 1898. BPW’s technologies include axle systems, brake technology, suspension and bearings. BPW’s trailer axles and running gear systems are in use in millions of vehicles around the world. An extensive range of services also provides vehicle manufacturers and vehicle operators with the opportunity to increase economic efficiency in their production and transport processes. www.bpw.de/en
About BPW Group
BPW Group, based in Wiehl, Germany, is a dependable international mobility and system partner for the transport industry, serving as a one-stop shop for innovative solutions. Its portfolio embraces axles, suspension systems and brake technologies (BPW), locking systems and bodywork technology (Hestal), lighting systems (Ermax), composite technologies (HBN-Teknik), and user-friendly telematics applications for trucks and trailers (idem telematics). BPW Group’s technologies and services support manufacturers’ cost-effective workflows and enable vehicle operators to manage their fleets efficiently by maximising the transparency of loading and transport processes. The owner-managed BPW Group encompasses 70 companies worldwide and employs around 7,000 people. www.wethinktransport.com