Digital interconnectivity along the supply chain presents challenges but at the same time considerable potential for the logistics industry: from productivity gains to the introduction of innovative logistics services and products as well as the development of new business models. Data processing, connectivity and the use of state-of-the-art software and technology become key elements in the success of the digital transformation. Kuehne + Nagel’s response to this increasing complexity is to continue expanding its IT infrastructure as well as automating and digitalising processes and applications. This allows the company to better address the supply chain dynamics and to create the transparency required by all parties while offering its customers seamless digital workflows. 


The introduction of SaLOG, Kuehne + Nagel’s standardised, global operating system for seafreight and airfreight simplifies operational activities by increasing process automation and real-time interaction between Kuehne + Nagel and its customers. With RoadLOG, the company introduced a new transport management system for overland, which is already implemented in several countries. In 2017, Kuehne + Nagel completed the development of a new, unified financial accounting system, so far rolled-out in almost 100 countries.

“Data is an essential asset in the logistics industry. Systematically analysed and applied, data will drive the development of new solutions and services and is key for the digital transformation of the logistics industry.” 

Martin Kolbe, CIO

2017 saw a new control centre for the digital management of quotations, shipments and user accounts in seafreight and airfreight added to KN FreightNet, the platform for digital quoting, booking and tracking. Enhanced applications have also been added to KN Login, the customer information platform: Kuehne + Nagel now offers its customers the “new shipment visibility” option, a self-service management and monitoring system that provides full transparency on shipment details on all devices. 


New digital technologies are being tested in customer-oriented and real-time workflows. The company is developing a series of blockchain solutions and is engaging with partners in an initiative that aims to digitalise bills of lading via a blockchain-based system. In contract logistics, Kuehne + Nagel focuses on automated solutions such as self-driving vehicles, hand-held terminals for order picking by voice, light or vision and heat mapping. With the introduction of smart sensor technology, service levels for KN PharmaChain airfreight have further improved.


Based on its global data lake, Kuehne + Nagel has created a big data infrastructure which serves as a workbench for new internal applications and customer solutions. This also enables the company to pioneer predictive analytics: The gKNi data product delivers nowcasts on exports, imports, trade balance and industrial production for the largest economies in the world. These estimates are available up to 55 days earlier than the street estimates, the so called “consensus”, providing customers with near real-time insights into the economic performance of specific countries and industries. In April 2017, Kuehne + Nagel additionally introduced the gKNi World Trade Indicator (gKNi WTI), an early, daily updated forecast of the official world trade data which is published two months later. 

Real-time data: Big Data of the Kuehne + Nagel Group
External data sources (non-exhaustive)

Key figures