Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods

Smart solutions for smart containers: New collaboration with insulation pioneer va-Q-tec


Every day, medicines are sent around the world. Strict guidelines must be followed during transport. The Würzburg-based company va-Q-tec has specialised in this area and is now working with students and researchers of the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Method and the Chair of Information Systems and Management.

va-Q-tec  is a dynamic high-tech company and has been pioneering the development of innovative solutions in the insulation industry since 2001 on the basis of energy efficient, space saving and environmentally friendly vacuum insulation panels (VIPs). Among other products, va-Q-tec offers smart containers that guarantee temperature-controlled transportation of precious and often life-saving products. Together with its service partners va-Q-tec enables cost-efficient one-way rentals of its smart containers in a global network.

Smart decision making for smart containers

But how can va-Q-tec ensure that it has the right amount of containers in the right place at the right time for its customers around the world? How can they exploit the vast amounts of data generated by their smart containers to guarantee efficient control of their container operations and constant service quality?  

va-Q-tec and researchers at the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods and the Chair of Information Systems and Business Analytics  have partnered to develop smart data-driven solutions for managing the network of smart containers. Three individual projects have been defined and are currently on their way. Each of these projects is expected to create innovative data-driven approaches to support and improve va-Q-tec’s container operations.

Inspired by a lecture of va-Q-tec’s CEO

The starting point of this initiative was a lecture of Dr. Joachim Kuhn, va-Q-tec’s Co-founder and CEO gave in spring. In this lecture Dr. Kuhn provided more than 150 students of our students with fascinating insights both into the company’s strategy and his life as a successful entrepreneur and CEO of a publicly listed company. When asked about the impact of digitization on his company he noted "We are currently collecting an incredible amount of data. There is [...] a huge mountain of data and we are not fully exploiting its potential quite yet" -  the perfect starting point for the researchers at the University of Würzburg.

Von Jana Niemeyer