Most organizations are now aware that it is essential to collect data in order to optimize business processes and deploy logistical resources more efficiently. However, the value of sharing data with other organizations is still lagging behind. Trust and privacy of data play a major role according to research by ABN AMRO[1]. Still, an organization misses out on opportunities when no data is shared with the chain. Many advantages are at hand when an organization shares data and deploys it optimally by means of a data integration platform.

Awareness of data sharing

An organization will only take a step once it realizes the usefulness and benefits of doing so. What’s in it for me” is a well-known question. According to, awareness is growing among logistics service providers about the essence of data for improving processes[2]. The ABN-AMRO survey confirms this. In this study, 97% of the respondents indicated that they are willing to share data. Also 87% indicated that sharing data can lead to a more efficient logistics chain. However, it is almost certain that not all of the 87% are actually committed to sharing data within the supply chain[3]. “Logistics service providers need to start working more intensively with data. That gives them a chance to tell a good story to shippers. In turn, shippers should be more aware of the hidden costs of inefficiency,” said Albert Jan Swart of ABN AMRO.

Benefits of data sharing in the supply chain

There are many benefits of sharing data in the supply chain. According to Supply Chain Magazine (SCM), road transport could become 10% more efficient if logistics organizations shared more data with each other[4]. Also, according to research by ABN-AMRO, about 500,000 tons of CO2 could be spared by sharing data within the chain. In addition, data sharing with organizations in the supply chain will ensure that cooperation between relations improves. Various processes within the supply chain can be coordinated more effectively with data that is available for all business relations. This will result in fewer empty miles, better provisioning of cargo and a more adequate response to sudden changes.

Data integration of different systems

In addition to data sharing within the chain, it is important to use data integration, where the various software systems are connected to each other. An organization uses various software and platforms for different activities. An accounting package for the finances, TrackOnline for the returnable packaging registration and yet another software system for handling the orders. Roeland Krom, founder of Cohelion says: “We see that many companies manage on important reports developed in Excel by a select number of employees. This creates a great dependency and is often not sustainable”. With Cohelion, it is possible to link data from all systems and make it accessible via one central platform. Integration of the various systems means that an organization has more data at its disposal. This allows for more informed decisions to be made, without certain data being overlooked. It also provides a better overview, more ease of use and more efficiency, both for the company and their customers.

At Van Vliet Containers, the data integration platform has already been implemented, as can be read in this customer case study. “Large concerns often have multiple entities in their fleet. Thanks to Cohelion, we can now tie all the data together and ensure that those separate entities can make use of each other’s pools. They can now see exactly how many load carriers each entity needs in a given period. This allows them to realize enormous cost savings and work much more efficiently,” explains Bob IJpelaar, managing director at Van Vliet Containers.

Data sharing within the supply chain is an important subject for many logistics organizations. By sharing data within the supply chain, you improve collaboration and it usually results in a more efficient way of working and deployment of logistical resources.

Sharing data within the supply chain is also a central topic at the ICT & Logistics Exhibition on November 10 and 11 in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht (The Netherlands). Together with Cohelion we will be present at this exhibition and you can discuss with us topics such as data sharing within the supply chain. Want to know more about TrackOnline? Download the brochure or sign up for a free 30 day trial.