IDS (which stands for Haulers Consortium in German) drivers deliver more than 13 million shipments annually using 4,600 long distance trucks and local transit vehicles. Their specialty: rapid transport of express goods, high-value goods and deliveries to firms and consumers.
IDS's rapid transport of goods to companies and consumers works so well because the consortium is made up of six mid-sized carriers and two logistics companies operating 45 shipping terminals across Germany. The consortium started deliveries to consumer in 2012. Their volumes have since increased exponentially, creating many new challenges. Because consumers expect delivery in 24 hours. And they want to be able to trace their delivery at all times.
Transparency and speed
Speed and transparency are absolute musts. Freight carriers wanting to offer their customers seamless shipment tracking must start by digitally connecting their drivers and vehicles and synchronizing the resulting data at their head office. This makes it possible to keep customers informed about their delivery's location and status at all times and provides a complete overview of the transport chain. But recurring technical problems became an issue. The logistics platform was constantly offline. As a result, data couldn't be transmitted promptly. Moreover, because of poor mobile connections, drivers also frequently couldn't be reached for questions or new orders. In short, the processes in place were inadequate in this highly competitive market.
These days all IDS drivers are kitted out with an electronic scanner. They use it to scan each delivery's bar code and send the information over Deutsche Telekom's complete-coverage LTE network to the cloud. These data are bundled at IDS's logistics platform, operated on one of Deutsche Telekom's secure, high availability data centers.
High availability via QoS
Additionally, all 45 of IDS's German locations are connected to the data center via a modern MPLS wide area network (WAN). The advantage: a high degree of data privacy thanks to a business customer network (Intraselect) that is segregated from the Internet. Data is encrypted for transmission over this network. The so-called multiprotocol label switching procedure (MPLS) also guarantees high availability via Quality of Service (QoS). This, for example, makes it possible to prioritize specific data types, which speed across the network like a priority lane.