OpenFoodBank – Logistics


Basis: using empty running/ deadhead of commercial vehicles and trucks

In 2019 around 37% of all lorries travelled empty. Therefore 37% of commercial trips in Germany are wasted. At the same time many charitable originations have a need for free or low cost transport options, for example to transport aid supplies, donated food items or hardware. Trucksharing. EU has the goal to provide a solution to “donate” empty runnings and utilize the unused transport capacities. Generally most charitable organisations rely heavily on donations and volunteers. While monetary donations can be easily transferred, physical goods have to be collected and distributed. This circumstance proves to be a big hurdle for most charitable originations, who (can) rarely find an optimal solution, while at the same time it ties down many volunteers and causes high cost. Empty runnings qualify as an ideal solution to this problem, as long as the implementation can be realized cost-efficient and simple.

Technical Implementation Basis

An open-source carpool- software as the most expedient basis. We determined three options to be the most suitable for the intended purpose:

1.: TU Mitfahrer App This Software is available as an app for Android and iOS as well as through a browser. The original idea was to build ride sharing groups between the different campuses of the TU Munich. Last update is from September 2016.

2.: Covoiturage Libre. This Software is available as a browser version (written under Ruby) and as an Android-App (written under Java). An association under the same name run this software inFrance between 2011 and 2018. Due to a fusion and a change of name to a co-op this software project was abandoned.

3 .: Carpoolear. This Software has been running in Argentina since 2013 and is written under PHP. The app is a web browser-based mobile application (Cordova web application). The software can be tested live here. It is nice here that offers and requests can be entered separately.

Technical description

From the technical side, vehicle drivers add their planned trip/routes to a ride-sharing platform. Interested passengers search for available connections and book a seat. For our planned extension, all transport needs will be shown as offers. Service providers in the transport sector with an empty run can then log on and find matching offers using the location (postal code) of the concerned vehicle combined with a catchment search. The offers will be displayed through an API by the OpenFoodBank after a donation has taken place (if shipment has been selected)Which information is needed?

  • Address consignor (including opening hours and contacts)
  • Address recipient (including opening hours and contacts)
  • Type of cargo (need for refrigeration, fluid, hard, packed on palettes etc.) -Weight of cargo
  • Time-frame for transportWith an optimized logistic structure through use of empty runnings a fast transport is impossible.

As a base for cost we are considering sharing the fuel cost as well as an utilisation of the toll exemption for this type of goods. If a cargo cannot be matched after 10 days, for example, an increment of share in cost for the recipient is reasonable, after they have been consulted concerning the matter.

The structure could look like this: