2022 – year of incidents and experiences
Incidents occur, often overnight, and are usually unavoidable. If things go well, they can be managed, but never undone. And quite often you have to come to terms with the situation. In 2022, we – and our customers – had to deal with a number of incidents.
Experiences can be brought about, planned, moderated, and also enjoyed. We had a variety of experiences in 2022, some of which were real highlights. The bottom line is that we were successful and, for the most part, so were our customers. We tackled a lot and achieved a lot. But as always, there is still much to do. 2023 continues.
Stormy times for the world and the economy
Hoping for an end to Corona, we reckoned that in 2022 the world – including and especially that of logistics – would be steering back into calmer waters. The resurgence of the virus in China and the Chinese government's drastic zero-covid policy have thrown a spanner in the works, creating new bottlenecks by disrupting supply chains. The war in Ukraine has done the rest. The suffering of the people cannot be put into words anyway. But the economic consequences of the war itself and the international reactions such as sanctions, severance of business relations, lack of energy supply and inflation have affected entire economies as well as individual companies. We and our customers have also been affected.
For example, in Poland, where a lot of business is done with Belarus and Ukraine. And quite a few of our customers with business in Russia had to and have drawn consequences, and are still in a healthy position. Even reduced growth and consolidation of existing business can be called a success in a year of crises, sanctions, constraints and inflation.
New propulsion at sea, more downforce in the air
Goods continue to be transported, must be transported. Sometimes, however, they were not transported. One of the main problems in 2022 was capacity. Not least because the Chinese ports had closed. And because capacity was tight, containers were built – and ships. Now these ships are coming onto the market. As a result, overcapacity will build up. However, there is justified hope that many things will level out again. When old freighters are taken out of service as a result of overcapacity, this not only clears the market. The emissions balance will also improve – somewhat – as a result of the then predominantly new propulsion technologies such as the three-stage fuel units.
In aviation, the situation is different. In recent years, cargo airlines have not infrequently kept their parent companies afloat after the loss of passenger business. That will change. Margins will move back down, perhaps even below pre-Corona levels. This is because the upcoming EU regulations, which not only affect CO2 emissions, pose major challenges – including economic ones – the financial impact of which cannot necessarily be passed on to the market through price increases.
Scope 2.0 – the Digital Standard goes to the web
To enable players in the global supply chain to take account of the constantly changing economic conditions, and even more, to face them innovatively, we have developed Scope, the digital standard for digital logistics. But even this standard is not static. We are constantly working on making Scope better. Scope 2.0 is going on the web. The first step has been taken: login via browser. It is the window to a new world. The login will be much more attractive – an access portal with the latest updates about us, about Scope and the most important things from the world of logistics. But above all: customers can act more independently. They can manage users and their master data themselves. They have full control over their internal password policies. Login is via secure multifactor authentication (MFA), making access more secure. Customers where we have already made the switch have given us extremely positive feedback. They are already waiting for it to continue.
That's why we are working flat out to migrate Scope 2.0 completely to the web. In the process, numerous functionalities will be further automated and enormously simplified – without users seeing it at first glance. And that's exactly the point: Scope 2.0 is not a new Scope, but the future-proof next-level version. We are working on many small things that will develop into a big whole. Or to put it another way: one big leap for us, one small step for our customers.
Bringing the Scope Community to life
Our mission is to equip global logistics with the digital standard, with the goal of building the global logistics community. And thus enable local companies to build networks across countries to compete on an equal footing and survive in the international marketplace – from reliable, transparent shipment processing to joint purchasing power against carriers.
We will increasingly address this community topic. On several levels. As a first step, we will bring customers together more frequently. We have learned that the impetus for the community must come from us. On the one hand, this involves organizing events for the joint exchange of information, with which we have already had good experience. But it is also about evaluating data that is already available in Scope in order to carry out precise needs analyses. Based on these results, we will then be able to equip our customers with even more tools that will further drive the subject of unrestricted collaboration. Our task for 2023 will be to create results and make them accessible. The bigger the forums we stimulate, the more publicity we create, the sooner the community will become actionable.
We will also bring our customers together on a technical level. This will already be the case in 2023. Users will then be able to see who is also working with Scope where in the world, and thus build business relationships that will also breathe economic life into the Scope community – and take the Scope experience to a new level.
Events create presence – and acceptance
In 2022, we supported more events than ever before. As organizers, active participants and sponsors. We attended 21 events, hosted 2 events ourselves and organized 6 webinars. The response proves us right: our commitment at various levels was perceived by customers, experts, visitors and interested parties as a first-class experience. The acceptance we have received for our initiatives has paid off, and the investments we have made in organization, presence and sponsorships have been worth it. Headquarters and subsidiaries were equally committed and involved:
At the IATA ONE Record Hackathons in Amsterdam and Toronto, we were represented on the juries and were also active as a sponsor. Next year, we will compete with our own team for the first time. We also sponsored the GLN and 5Star Conferences in March and the GLN, 5Star and SCN Conferences in October in Bangkok, where we were finally able to be live on site again. Surprisingly successful and very personal was our event on the sidelines of TransLogistika in Poland, where we exchanged ideas with customers and interested parties on the most important topics – Scope, Forwarding Business and Family. Here, too, the word is: To be continued.
In Germany, we were guests at the Hamburg Logistics Summer Festival 2022 with three customers and five employees. At the Air Cargo Conference, Tobias Riege, supported by Peter Somaglia from CarbonCare, presented the Swiss company's CO2 calculator, which is also available in Scope. At the DVZ TMS Conference, the roles were reversed. There, Tobias Riege supported Peter Somaglia's presentation. At beyond tellerrand, the almost official stock market for young digital talent, we were represented with our own employer booth, where we presented our company to young talents.
The absolute highlight of the year from our point of view was the official Riege event Inside Scope with about 75 participants. The customers were excited, the feedback was positive throughout. As a communicative basis for the Scope Community, we will institutionalize this event in the future and continue it annually in ever larger numbers.
The second highlight was the series of webinars, of which we held a total of 6 in 2022. The great interest shown in the topics we covered also shows that we have taken an important new path here. The webinar “Active refinement in ATLAS” attracted 62 participants.
A sympathetic conclusion to this extremely successful event year was the Thanksgiving Dinner, hosted by the Air Cargo Community in Frankfurt on 28.11.2022.
In Mexico, we were represented with our own booth at Expo Logistica Transporte, one of the largest and most important trade shows for logistics service providers in and around Mexico. At the 4th Foro de AMACARGA, we not only acted as a sponsor, the team from the Mexico branch was invited to take part in a panel discussion on the importance of automation and digitalization processes for the logistics industry.
In Switzerland, we acted as sponsor of the Supply Chain Hall of Fame charity gala and Air Cargo Day 2022, where Tobias Riege also appeared as one of the speakers.
A hardly noticed extraordinary event took place in the Netherlands on July 15, 2022: The first customs declaration via the new Dutch DMS was executed with Scope. A world premiere!
Riege – more than one company, one family
We are all working on the digital standard for global logistics. However, it is not standard for four siblings to lead a company in harmony and unity in the 2nd generation. In addition to will and willingness, this requires above all the passion to continue something that the 1st generation, Gabriele and Johannes Riege, built up together – without external shareholders, investors and banks. This will, of course, remain the case in the future.
With clear assignments of responsibilities – Anna Riege Head of HR, Benjamin Riege Head of Marketing, Christian Riege CTO, Tobias Riege CEO – the siblings practice on their own behalf what they have established for the entire company: cross-departmental, agile teamwork that is also visibly lived. At the Info Forums of the German subsidiary and the international management meetings, the four of them always appear together in unity. That is as reasonable as important. They are the “new” face of Riege and thus a guarantee for the future of the company and its employees.
ISO-27001 Certification – Information Security Management System
Our biggest challenge internally was the preparation and final audit for ISO-27001 certification. To say it right away: We passed with flying colors. This certainly has something to do with the fact that we have always taken relevant criteria for certification, such as data protection and security, very seriously. The structure, i.e. the requirements of an Information Security Management System (ISMS), were therefore not fundamentally foreign to us. However, getting the whole thing up and running in an audit-ready manner was new territory for us. That's why, in the logical second 1, we were reinforced by an external team of experts who not only made us fit and showed us the way, but also familiarized us with the aberrations and pitfalls of the processes.
However, the ISMS team delivered an outstanding performance. Both externally and internally, they achieved the masterpiece of getting everyone involved on board and creating the conditions that made the successful conclusion possible in the first place. Both technically and organizationally. Thus, the employees involved were well-prepared for the final audit. And yes, everyone made an outstanding contribution. Top grade with an asterisk! The teams have every reason to be proud of themselves. We certainly are. That's for sure – now also with certification!
Advocating sustainability and inspiring concepts for implementation
Sustainability is one of our three core values, which impressively combines the other two values of respect (also for the environment) and integrity (honesty also in the implementation of measures).
Advocating for sustainability and creating awareness is part of our responsibility. That is why we have equipped Scope with the CO2 calculator of our partner CarbonCare, so that forwarders and their customers can see to what extent a shipment produces which pollutants.
We have also placed the issue in the Air Cargo Community and raised awareness among members. Knowing well that in aviation in general and air cargo in particular, the hurdles are high, and the statistics are apt to downsize the issue. It is important that joint, coherent strategies are developed, and not everyone tries to spread drops on hot stones on their own. In the end, that only leads to the perception that individuals can't do anything anyway. We advocate the development of strength through unity. Common goals, common action, common measures, common future.
We create a new home
It was not only in the context of certification and through the implementation of our own sustainability concepts that we discovered: The patina of time has settled over our office space. Relics from the past stood in the way, rooms unused due to Corona and home offices appeared abandoned and empty, and not just on the outside. The spirit of optimism for the future did not leave us even in the year of crises. It was time to tear down old tents.
Having already extended the concept of partial home office to full-time home office through Corona in 2020, we're going one step further with the move: In fact, the new office shall give us the chance to move closer together again and rethink things and shape them together. But there won't be workstations for every one of the more than 100 employees in Germany alone. 30-40 workstations can be booked individually if necessary. The 100% home office remains a concept, also for reasons of sustainability. Although the new rooms are significantly more energy-efficient, here too the rule is: the less, the better. Not to mention the fact that the previously numerous, regular trips to and from the workplace are also largely eliminated.
The move itself doesn't mean a trip around the world. It's just a few streets away – also for reasons of sustainability. Nevertheless, we leave the transport – how could it be otherwise – to logistics professionals. But many hardworking hands from our own ranks pitched in, even though it's not part of their job description. An exhausting finish to the year, for which we would like to express our sincere thanks to all who have contributed.
What we wish for the future
For ourselves we wish a healthy company, secure jobs, an ever better product and for everyone to enjoy their work. The prerequisites for this are in place. Where things are still sticking, action must be taken – and will be taken.
One wish accompanies us all our lives: world peace. Yes, it's a utopia, but if it were to become reality in our lifetime, it would not only be a wonderful incident, it would also be one of the most beautiful experiences ever.