Today’s Pickup: How 3D printing changes the speed of the supply chain

Good morning.

The improvements in 3D printing technology has boosted the hopes that one day supply chains will become shorter as products are printer on-demand in close proximity to end users. Deutsche Post DHL Group and IT logistics provider Axit recently showcased how replacement parts could be produced and shipped in the same day.

The online demonstration showed the entire process in real time from DHL’s Frankenthal, Germany, location. It showed the path of an urgently needed replacement part as it moved from initial order through production to final delivery in a single day. Every link in the chain worked together in a fully automated and digital process using modern tools of digitalization such as the internet of things, cloud-based technology, and data analytics, the companies noted.

You can watch the video here:

Did you know?

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety believes a $146 billion infrastructure investment could save 63,700 lives and prevent 353,560 serious injuries over 20 years through a targeted repair and maintenance approach.


“This example shows that same-day production and delivery of urgently needed parts can succeed if the processes are digitalized end to end and the production equipment and 3D printers can be connected with the logistical processes in a network.”

Frauke Heistermann, Member of Management Board, AXIT GmbH, Chief Digitalization Officer, Siemens Postal, Parcel & Airport Logistics GmbH

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.