Mapping Here and Everywhere – Logistics Business® Magazine

David Priestman caught up with HERE Technologies at Gartner Supply Chain Xpo in London to see how a sleeping giant in mapping and location technology has its eyes on becoming “the #1 in location”.

Rarely have we seen a supply chain crisis like today’s, affecting all aspects of global trade and exacerbated by the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Organizations need to take the time to build more resilient operations to withstand future shocks. Fleet managers are under a lot of pressure, whether it’s knowing the toll roads or having to deliver on time. Location data makes this more seamless as precise location, ETA and tracking of vehicles have been greatly improved. Technologies like 5G will only amplify this.

HERE Technologies is a name you may not be familiar with, but you’ve most likely used the company’s mapping technology while driving. 35 years young, with 6400 employees in 52 countries, HERE wishes that mapping would be seen as an end in itself and that users would pay for the precise location. The company created the first digital map more than 35 years ago and has been in the SatNav market since 1994. It was part of Nokia for a while. Now it belongs to strategic investors like Audi, BMW and Daimler.

Christoph Herzig, pictured, is Head of Product Management, Supply Chain Solutions at HERE. He told me that the company has been providing mapping and location services, as well as application programming interfaces (APIs), to logistics companies for 10 years. The technology is also integrated with SAP and Oracle’s TMS.

“We have our own platform with several hundred thousand users and want to be number 1 locally,” said Herzig. HERE’s mapping features HD and 3D imagery, uses 900 data attributes, and is approved as an AWS supply chain partner. “That means it’s good for autonomous vehicles,” Herzig said. “The HERE HD Live Map is centimeter-accurate.”

TMS partner

Current partners/customers include TMS suppliers and fleet managers. “They use our routing, geocoding and vehicle problem solving options,” added Herzig. One customer is Active Logistics, a German TMS provider. By using HERE, Active can enable multi-stop planning for couriers such as UPS and automatic route planning.

“We now want to sell directly, also to 3PLs/LSPs,” Herzig continues. “Our target buyers are COOs and CIOs,” HERE offers IoT tracking Capacity for assets and parts. “You can navigate down to the last meter and we offer more shipment transparency by also adding air and ship plans,” he claimed. Data security and anonymization for the GDPR are also promised.

Data is key

The transport and logistics industry is increasingly dependent on location data and requires end-to-end transparency. Company resources can be viewed in detail, comprehensively and accurately, and because the technology runs in real-time, companies get the visibility they need to manage their connections.

“Fleet managers still have many concerns about the disadvantages of electric vehicles,” asserts Herzig. “Location technology can take that burden off and ease the transition to electric vehicles. Electrification of the last mile would have a profound impact on CO2 emissions in many cities. For example, using HERE’s Routing API, you can input the consumption model that depends on uphill, downhill, acceleration and deceleration along the route, as well as consumption of auxiliary power such as air conditioning, to calculate an EV-optimized route. This allows the range of the vehicle to be extended. This works well because our map data contains all the necessary information about the gradient, curve angles and speed limits of every street in your city, correlated with historical traffic flow. We want to be like Intel. The advertising slogan should be ‘It’s HERE inside’!”

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