ALUROUT: Sino-German Logistics Alumni Network

Establishment of a network for logistics professionals

The research project ALUROUT aimed at establishing a Sino-German network in the field of logistics.

Our network allowed a constant exchange between German and Chinese logistic experts from science and industry - sharing expertise and experiences: A solid base to identify and initiate collaborative projects.

Hier finden Sie die Vorstellung des Deutsch-Chinesisches Alumni-Netzwerks im Bereich Logistik auf Deutsch.

Together we ROUTe the logistics of tomorrow.

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News from our network

Review of past events

December 2, 2021 - "Sustainability now"

A Workshop on the application of the SDG Compass (case study based) in China & Germany


The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate initiative on sustainability. It is an international association of companies that have committed themselves to ten globally valid principles in the fields of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption in their business activities. In addition to these ten principles, the 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015, which contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for companies. Thus, the Agenda represents a further guideline on the way to a sustainable corporate leadership. The event provided further information on the UN Global Compact and guidance on the application of the SDGs and the SDG Compass for the supply chain.


September 17, 2021 - "Artificial Intelligence in Logistics"

"What will happen when KI meets logistics?"

In order to make the topic of KI more tangible for logistics, the sino-german Artificial Intelligence Association (GCAAI) together with us, the sino-german logistics network ALUROUT, as well as the China Network Baden-Württemberg (CNBW) organized the event "Artificial Intelligence in Logistics" on September 17, 2021. The event took place as a "hybrid event". This allowed interested parties to participate in the seminar live and corona-compliant on-site in Shanghai. All other participants had the possibility to participate online.

After the welcome and the introduction of the three German-Chinese networks, the main part of the event was introduced by Anike Murrenhoff (Fraunhofer IML), who spoke about the necessity and applicability of artificial intelligence in different subareas of logistics - based on exemplary research projects of the institute. Building on this, Mr. Magic Cheng from the China-based company Megvii Technology Limited (Chinese company focusing on image recognition through machine vision and deep learning) demonstrated the research and implementation results achieved for the use of autonomous robots and automatic shelf operation systems with the help of AI.

In addition, Mr. Fabian Bock presented the "German" implementation of AI on the part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. In his keynote speech, he used the topic of data as an entry point to explain the importance of a data-driven intelligent value chain from the perspective of his team. The event was concluded with a discussion round with the three experts


28th April 2021 – "Smart Logistics Roundtable"

"Characteristics, concepts and best practices in Logistics 4.0"

On 28th April 2021, the ALUROUT project team participated in a hybrid "Smart Logistics Roundtable" together with Chinese experts and politicians from Sichuan Province. Smart Logistics or Logistics 4.0 provides companies with numerous opportunities. These include intra- and inter-company logistics cost reductions as well as improved sustainability, for example through digitally supported and optimized transport planning.

The aim of the event was to enable a systematic analysis of the status quo in the field of smart logistics through Sino-German knowledge exchange. For this purpose, characteristic features as well as different concepts and best practices of Logistics 4.0 were discussed.

The roundtable was integrated into a Smart Logistics study conducted by the Research Institute of Highway (RIOH) of the Chinese Ministry of Transport. Study sponsor is the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).



15th April 2021 – "GIZ Workshop"

"How can NEVs increase sustainability in the transportation sector?"

This question was explored at a hybrid workshop held by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on 15th April 2021. New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), meaning vehicles with alternative drive technology, can contribute significantly to an environmentally friendly development of the transportation sector. Above all, there is great potential in urban delivery traffic. However, the use of NEVs is accompanied by various challenges, such as high purchasing costs and a lack of infrastructure for charging (e.g. battery-powered vehicles) or refueling (fuel cell vehicles).

Together with experts from China, the ALUROUT project team discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the different propulsion technologies, their suitability for different application scenarios, and best practices from Germany and China.

The results of the workshop are part of a study that the Chinese Transport Planning and Research Institute (TPRI) is preparing as part of the GIZ project for "Sino-German Cooperation on Low Carbon Transport" (CLCT).



23rd and 24th March 2021 – "Final DCHAN conference"

"Alumni as pillars of Sino-German scientific cooperation"

On 23rd and 24th March 2021, the digital and final DCHAN conference took place under the motto "Shaping Sino-German Science Cooperation". At this conference, organized by the DAAD, the project teams as well as members of all seven DCHAN specialist networks came together and celebrated the conclusion of the first funding period.

The first day of the ceremony focused on multifaceted findings presentations of the individual alumni networks as well as a subsequent casual exchange between the participants. On the second day of the conference, the perspectives and success factors of Sino-German scientific cooperation were discussed in a panel discussion as well as in three World Cafés. ALUROUT itself hosted a debate on the topic "Challenges, solutions and perspectives for Sino-German scientific cooperation".

For the ALUROUT network, the final DCHAN conference was also the official kick-off for the second funding period of the project, which runs until January 2023.



17th December 2020: Christmas wishes & invitation to the ALUROUT New Year's Event

"Keep ROUTing the logistics of tomorrow with ALUROUT."

The turbulent year 2020 is slowly coming to an end. We therefore wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a successful start to the new year.

The year 2021 is also off to an eventful start. Already on January 13th, 2021, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML cordially invites you to participate in the ALUROUT New Year's Event 2021. 

At this event, the ALUROUT network looks back on the eventful past three years and points out which logistical topics will shape Germany and China in the future. We are particularly pleased that, in addition to Prof. Michael Henke, two logistics experts from China, Prof. Dianjun Fang and Dr. Ling Xuan, will give an exciting keynote speech on current developments in logistics.

In addition, you will have the opportunity for personal exchange with our three speakers in subsequent breakout sessions. Through your questions and ideas, you will also have the chance to help shape the topics for upcoming ALUROUT events.



© SeanPavonePhoto -

02nd November 2020: ALUROUT & URBANI[XX] organize virtual event

"Urban logistics of the future - Sino-German perspectives"

How must the city logistics of the future be designed to prevent an urban collapse?

We will deal with this question at our next online event, which will take place on Monday, 02nd  November, from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. On this day, together with our partner network URBANI[XX] from TU Berlin, we cordially invite you to participate in the online event "Urban logistics of the future - Sino-German perspectives".

During this virtual event, you will have the opportunity to gain direct insights into Sino-German research on mobility and city logistics of the future. You can look forward to two exciting keynote speeches by Prof. Dr. Michael Henke (Fraunhofer IML) and Michael Abraham (TU Berlin) as well as an interactive panel discussion (including Prof. Dr. Michael Schüller, HS Osnabrück).



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03rd July 2020: First ALUROUT online meeting

"Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains - Sino-German perspectives"

On 03rd July 2020, the first ALUROUT online meeting with the topic "Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains – Sino-German perspectives" was successfully held with the support of ALUROUT partners and logistics experts from Germany and China.

In a keynote session, Prof. Dr. Michael Henke (Fraunhofer IML) outlined the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19-crisis as well as the need for redesigning global supply chains. He emphasized that the epidemic has already led to a series of crises in global supply and that enterprises need to be prepared for the possibility of another global infection wave. In order to ensure the resilience of their supply chains, Prof. Dr. Michael Henke pointed out that a successful digital transformation in the field of logistics will be particularly important for companies in both countries, China and Germany. This has become obvious in the context of the current Covid-19-pandemic. The keynote was then rounded off by an introduction into current trends and technological innovations in logistics that will play a major role in the digital transformation.

In the following expert discussion session, Prof. Dr. Dianjun Fang gave a Chinese perspective on the economic recovery process in China including the resumption of industry, as well as raised concerns about the fact of unsynchronized resumption of global supply chains. Further participating experts were Prof. Dr. Michael Schüller from HS Osnabrück, Ms. Besser from DCW and Dr. Zhang from RWTH Aachen. In an interactive discussion they were able to give the audience an introduction into the Sino-German educational cooperation, economic cooperation and academic cooperation and the corresponding challenges that arose with the pandemic respectively.

Our first ALUROUT online meeting attracted logistics experts as well as scholars from Germany and China. We would like to thank the participants for the positive feedback and are looking forward to more upcoming online events.



November 2019: Sino-German Logistics Forum in Qingdao

On 20 November 2019 the ALUROUT network meeting was held for the first time in Qingdao. The Sino-German Logistics Forum brought together more than 30 German and Chinese experts from industry and science at the Sino-German Ecopark. The event was organized and carried out jointly by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML and the Sino-German Institute for Applied Research and Promotion (iFP), which opened in summer 2018.

IML Institute Director Prof. Michael Henke opened the forum with a keynote speech in which he presented the possibilities of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. In his presentation he pointed out how important it is to link these technologies with each other and to integrate different IoT applications, for example through blockchains, in order to enable smart object management. The technologies and applications mentioned currently play a key role in both Germany and China and offer opportunities for deeper cooperation, especially in logistics and supply chain management.

Prof. Dianjun Fang and industry representatives from Siemens and Haier also presented the opportunities and future possibilities of German-Chinese cooperation at the event and discussed them further in a concluding panel discussion. After a joint lunch, the participants visited the Haier Institute of Industrial Intelligence. During this visit, representatives of Haier presented their mass customization model COSMOPlat, which represents a complete ecosystem of the industrial Internet.



September 2019: Successful German-Chinese Logistics Forum in Dortmund

At the German-Chinese Logistics Forum and the 2nd ALUROUT Meeting in Germany on 11 September 2019, around 50 alumni from China and Germany met at the Fraunhofer IML to discuss current trends in logistics and German-Chinese cooperation opportunities.

Prof. Henke opened the forum with a lecture on current developments and trends in German-Chinese cooperation in logistics 4.0. Cécile Jeblawei (DAAD), Dr. Tania Becker (TU Berlin) and Tim Biermann (RWTH Aachen) then presented the DCHAN accompanying project and their networks and current research topics. 


In four further lectures, logistics experts reported on their German-Chinese projects. Prof. Dianjun Fang (Tongji University) presented current challenges and opportunities in Chinese logistics before Christian Blesing presented the German-Chinese research project InFa-CTS. At the end of the presentations, Prof. Xiaoming Fu and Dr. Mayutan Arumaithurai (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) reported on their research project COSAFE and applications of blockchain technology in SCM. 

A guided tour through the research halls of the Fraunhofer IML and a concluding get-together provided the conclusion of the event and once again offered plenty of opportunities for discussion and networking. 



© Fraunhofer IML

April 2019: ALUROUT at the LogiMAT in Shanghai

From 11th to 15th April 2019 the ALUROUT project team travelled to China again. In the focus of this trip was a lecture at the LogiMAT in Shanghai in a forum organized by Prof. Fang with the title "Industry 4.0 meets Made in China 2025 - The Intralogistic Intelligence Solution". ALUROUT was represented by Dr. Matthias Parlings who initially demonstrated numerous innovative intralogistics solutions from Fraunhofer IML and visions of how future supply chains can be designed. Dr. Parlings also spoke to almost 100 visitors about the challenges and opportunities of Sino-German cooperation in logistics 4.0 and presented the possibilities and advantages of ALUROUT network in this context.

As part of the China trip, the ALUROUT project team also visited two industrial companies (automobile manufacturer Geely & AGV manufacturer i-Cow) to present the advantages of the ALUROUT network and initiate future cooperation opportunities.



© Fraunhofer IML

February 2019: ALUROUT at the logistics trade fair LogiMAT

On the 21st February of 2019, ALUROUT was represented at the LogiMAT logistics trade fair in Stuttgart in the form of a specialist forum moderated by Prof. Henke and Prof. Fottner (TU Munich). In addition to a speech by Prof. Henke, a panel discussion with industry representatives (Brian Sieben, Hilti Corporation; Stefan Ott, MIAS Group & Ulrich Dantzer, Metroplan) took place in which the opportunities and challenges of Sino-German cooperations in logistics were discussed and the potentials offered by ALUROUT were presented.

Following the specialist forum, Prof. Henke spoke with Topics of this interview included Sino-German collaborations in logistics and especially ALUROUT. A video of the interview in German can be found here.



© Fraunhofer IML

November 2018: Sino-German Logistics Forum and second Alumni Meeting in Dortmund

After a successful kick-off event of the ALUROUT network in China in July 2018, the first event in Germany took place at the Fraunhofer IML on November 7.

The event was opened by Prof. Henke and Prof. Fang, who joined the keynote lecture "Opportunities and challenges of German-Chinese cooperation in logistics 4.0" via video conference from China. The lecture dealt with logistics in the changing Industry 4.0, where differences and similarities between Germany and China as well as cooperation possibilities based on these were worked out. Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to gain insights into innovative logistics solutions during a guided tour through the institute. The event was rounded off by a joint workshop and a final get-together.



July 2018: Sino-German Logistics Forum and first Alumni Meeting in Shanghai

On July 31, 2018 the ALUROUT alumni met for their first event in Shanghai. Prof. Michael Henke, director of the Fraunhofer IML in the field of enterprise logistics, opened the forum with a lecture on the management of industry 4.0 along the supply chain and possible effects on the industry. In a further lecture, trends and scenarios of future supply chains were reported on and how to deal with them. The forum was complemented by two practical presentations from industry on the topics of robot applications and logistics system solutions in China.

In the following panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dianjun Fang (CDHK & Fraunhofer IML), differences and similarities of the strategies "Made in China 2025" and "Industry 4.0" as well as experiences with German-Chinese collaborations were exchanged.

Finally, a workshop was held to discuss opportunities for future joint activities and trend topics from industry and research with the alumni in order to further intensify the exchange of knowledge between the two countries in the field of logistics.


© Fraunhofer IML

Especially in times of the challenging digital transformation and Industry 4.0, cooperative and standardized logistic solutions are required, which will introduce profitable opportunities as well as innovative scientific and economic progresses. The exploitation of these opportunities will lead to a long-term strengthening and worldwide positioning of Germany and China as a science location.

The IML already maintains numerous relations with Chinese research institutions and companies, some of which go back many years, so that we have extensive experience with Chinese business conditions, research infrastructures and Chinese culture.

AlumniRouter as center of cooperation

The Fraunhofer IML sees great potential in the targeted organization of a German-Chinese network with continuous alumni work and the establishment of fixed locations of cooperation, our so-called "Alumni Routers", in Qingdao (China) and Dortmund. At network events, taking place alternately in Germany and China, an intensive exchange of knowledge between the alumni enables a joint identification and promotion of topics relevant to science and industry.

Sign up and benefit from our program!

The following persons from industry and science in the disciplines of logistics, production, supply chain management, digitisation or Industry 4.0, who have gained experience through stays in the other country for at least three months, are invited to contact the project team and join our alumni network:

  • Persons who have obtained a masters, bachelors, Diploma degree in China or Germany
  • Persons who graduated (PhD) in China or Germany
  • Persons who have completed study, research and teaching stays in China or Germany (short and long-term stays)
  • Persons who have completed a working stay after graduation as part of their main occupation

You are invited to contact the project team and join the alumni network - free of charge!

To do so, please register without obligation in the DCHAN community and join our ALUROUT group after your registration. 

Project background

The research project started in October 2017 and is funded by the BMBF for a period of three years. After a validation of the concept and definition of measures following the funding, the continuity of the project is to be ensured.

ALUROUT is one of seven funded projects contributing to the thematic and subject-specific networking of German and Chinese alumni. The corresponding website of the Sino-German Alumni Networks (DCHAN) can be found here.