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Results of the TraDiLog research project

First project phase: field research and interview study

In the first phase of the project, we conducted interviews with managers and employees from the logistics sector. The interviews followed a guideline that was developed in advance on the basis of an extensive literature research on the subject of the study.

In the interviews, five dimensions of mobile working environments could be identified which, according to the interviewees, are changing in particular as a result of digitalisation. These five dimensions are:

  •     degree of monitoring, control and task assistance through technical systems
  •     degree of autonomy of employees in the way they perform tasks
  •     degree of complexity of work tasks and increasing task diversity
  •     degree of interaction or communication between the actors involved
  •     degree of time scarcity and flexibility in the accomplishment of work tasks

Our detailed findings from the interviews have been published in the following research paper:

Hellmann, Marco; Schlüter, Jan; Weyer, Johannes (2017): Mobile Arbeit in der digitalisierten Transportlogistik. Beschäftigte im Spannungsverhältnis von Autonomie, Kontrolle und neuen Kompetenzanforderungen. In: Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, Anemari Karačić (Hrsg.): Logistikarbeit in der digitalen Wertschöpfung. Perspektiven und Herausforderungen für Arbeit durch technologische Erneuerungen.

The entire conference proceedings are available on the FGW website .

Second project phase: online survey and impact model

Based on the interview results and the hypotheses derived from them, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to people employed in logistics. Over 440 employees completed the approx. 20-minute online survey. The data obtained paints a comprehensive picture of digitalisation in transport logistics. Among other things, it shows

  • what opportunities and risks these changes entail for the industry
  • how different occupational groups (managers, dispatchers, drivers, warehouse workers) perceive digitalisation
  • what measures are required on the part of companies and institutions in order to successfully and sustainably shape digitalisation.



We have compiled the key descriptive results of the survey in this six-page six-page handout (PDF) .

A detailed documentation of the survey with extensive statistical analyses and recommendations for action will be published in the final report of the TraDiLog project in autumn 2018. There we will also translate the empirical findings into an impact model that shows the influences and consequences of digitalisation for employees.

Location & approach

The  Technical University of Dortmund campus is located near the Dortmund West autobahn junction, where the A45  (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the A40 (Ruhrschnellweg B1). The most convenient autobahn exits are found on the A45 in Dortmund-Eichlinghofen (closer to the south campus) and on the B1 / A40 in Dortmund-Dorstfeld (closer to the north campus). The university is signposted at both exits.

The TU Dortmund has its own S-Bahn station ("Dortmund Universität") on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund’s central station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf’s central station via "Bahnhof Düsseldorf Flughafen". This makes the university directly accessible from the cities of Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg. Furthermore, the TU Dortmund may be reached via buslines 445, 447 and 462.
Individual timetable information for public transport is also available on the website of the Rhine-Ruhr Transport Association, and the Dortmund Transport Authority also offers an interactive route network map.

One of the landmarks of the TU is the H-Bahn overhead monorail which connects the two campuses. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between the stops Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Center via Campus South and Dortmund Universität S. Line 2 shuttles every 5 minutes between the stops Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.

To get from the Dortmund airport to the campus, we recommend taking the "Airport Express" to Dortmund's central train station (20 minutes), and then boarding the S-Bahn there.  A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometres away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university station.