21 August 2018

Press Release - Study: Theory versus practice shows clear underestimation of potential in logistics

A study by GS1 Germany as part of the EU Horizon 2020 project NexTrust compares market evaluation with pilot results

  • Load factor estimated at 15 percent, achieved in pilot projects up to 45 percent
  • 90 percent of companies want to continue to collaborate

Cologne, 21 August 2018. The EU-funded project wants to increase efficiency and sustainability in logistics. The idea behind: set up vertical and antitrust-compliant horizontal collaboration networks, bundle transports, avoid empty miles and thus save money and protect the environment. This is also underlined by the results of the GS1 Germany study "Collaboration in Supply Chain Networks". The study shows a significant positive trend for future collaboration in logistics: 90 percent of the survey participants who have already carried out collaboration projects in the past are convinced that they would do so again in the future. In addition, more than half of the companies that have not carried out collaboration projects so far are interested in participating in collaborative projects in the future.

Vertical and horizontal collaborations are known to have the potential for different savings potential. As part of the study, the participants estimated the potential much lower than the results from NexTrust pilots show: an average of 13 percent less greenhouse gases were estimated in contrast to the actually calculated saving of 32 percent across all NexTrust pilots. Only 15 percent of the study participants expected more than 20 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Even the potential to profit economically from collaboration in logistics is considered relatively low by the respondents with 11 percent on average: NexTrust shows that 30 percent cost savings are possible. The NexTrust project also shows that capacity utilization can be significantly increased by bundling transports. Study participants estimate that collaboration in logistics can increase vehicle utilization by an average of 15 percent. NexTrust pilot projects achieved an increase in capacity utilization of up to 43 percent.

The potential efficiency and monetary savings have not yet been exhausted within collaboration, in particular between competitors. In the past, companies were prevented from establishing horizontal collaboration with competitors due to antitrust challenges. The involvement of a neutral third party offers this opportunity to collaborate with competitors, whilst still complying with the legal framework. Thus, 71 percent of participants are in favor of a neutral third party, the so-called Trustee. Using a trustee can also help bring together suitable companies. The identification of suitable collaborative partners represents a major challenge for 33 percent. The more partners that are involved in a collaboration make it more complex and demanding. Logistic standards are essential especially in multilateral partnerships. This is confirmed by 89 percent of study participants, especially by those companies that have already collaborated in the past.

Find out more about the study results under

Press contact:

Sandra Wagner, Head of Press and Media Relations, GS1 Germany
tel: +49 (221) 94714-543, email: Steve Rinsler, Director Bisham Consulting/Elupeg
tel: +44(16) 2848 7000, email:

About NexTrust:

NexTrust ( is funded by Horizon 2020 and is administrated by the EC’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The project duration is 42 months. NexTrust’s objective is to increase efficiency and sustainability in logistics by developing a flexible innovative business model with interconnected, trusted, collaborative networks along the entire supply chain. The pilot cases cover a broad cross section of the entire supply chain (from raw materials to finished goods to retail inbound and to end consumers) for multiple industries. NexTrust expects its pilot cases to reduce 40 percent of lorries, 15 percent of delivery vehicles, 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and increase load factors by 50 percent. The full consortium comprises: 2degrees, Alpega Arcese, Beiersdorf, BLUEWAVE, Borealis L.A.T, Colruyt Group, CRITT Transport et logistique, Delhaize Le Lion/De Leeuw, ELUPEG, EVO Dutch Shippers Council, Fiege Logistik, Giventis International, Greenyard Foods GS1 Belgium & Luxembourg, GS1 Germany, GS1 Switzerland, Kimberly Clark, Kneppelhout Korthals Lawyers, Mondelez, Norwegian Logistics, Panasonic Europe, Pastu Consult, Scala, TRI-VIZOR, TX Logistik (Co-ordinator), Unilever, Vlerick Business School, VU University Amsterdam, Wenzel Logistics, , YSCO. Disclaimer: This publication has been produced with the financial support of European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.


Our Partners

  • Borealis
  • YSCO
  • Alpega Group
  • Wenzel Logistics
  • VU University Amersterdam
  • Vlerick Business SchoolVlerick Business School
  • Unilever
  • TX logistik
  • Tri Vizor
  • Pinguin
  • Pastu Consult
  • Panasonic
  • Norwegian Logistics
  • Mondelez International
  • KKL
  • Kimberley Clark
  • GS1 Switzerland
  • GS1 Germany
  • GS1 Belgium
  • Giventis International
  • Fiege
  • EVO
  • Delhaize
  • Colruyt Group
  • Arcese
  • 2degrees
  • Beiersdorf
  • Bluewave