Digital transformation in logistics: supply chain network innovation and big data analytics at Ahlers

Category: Conferences

We invite for you... Mr Sven Verstrepen and Mr Roel Vanmaele

The impact of digitisation continues to disrupt traditional industries. Incumbents are looking to stay on top of their game by investigating new digital business models. In this session, we invite Mr Sven Verstrepen, head of Supply Network Innovation & Analytics, and Mr Roel Vanmaele, managing director Europe at Ahlers a family-owned Belgian logistics group which has been successful as a maritime shipping line, freight forwarder and logistics service provider. They will bring the story of how the business model of freight forwarding has been suffering significant pressure from digitisation. Simultaneously, competition is arising from new, unexpected angles, as new market entrants such as Amazon and Uber are trying to disrupt the multi-billion transport industry. 

In response to this evolution, Ahlers decided in 2015 to turn around its traditional business model by setting up a new division for supply network innovation and big data analytics. Their story will bring insights in Ahlers’ journey from being a “red ocean”-player to becoming a “blue ocean”-player, and the obstacles and challenges they encountered along the way.


7.00 pm Welcoming drink and sandwiches
7.30 pm Introduction to the topic by Vlerick staff
7.45 pm Digital transformation in logistics: supply chain network innovation and big data analytics at Ahlers, Sven Verstrepen, head of Supply Network Innovation & Analytics, and Roel Vanmaele, managing director at Ahlers Europe
8.30 pm Q&A
9.00 pm Closing drink Vlerick Lounge

BIO Sven Verstrepen, head of Supply Network Innovation & Analytics at Ahlers Europe

Sven Verstrepen head of supply network innovation & analytics at Ahlers Europe Sven is a seasoned entrepreneur and internationally recognized pioneer in supply chain innovation. Since 2016, he has been leading the new Ahlers division called “Supply Network Innovation & Analytics” (ASNIA). Before joining Ahlers, Sven worked as research associate at Vlerick Business School, supply chain analyst at the Agfa-Gevaert Group and senior expert at the Flanders Institute for Logistics (VIL). In 2008, he became founding partner of TRI-VIZOR, a University of Antwerp spin-off and the first company in the world to develop “neutral trustee” solutions for collaborative logistics. Sven has broad international experience working for clients in the FMCG, healthcare, hi-tech, (petro)chemical and automotive industry. He has published several books and academic papers and is also a frequent guest speaker at logistics conferences and universities. Sven holds Master’s degrees in Applied Economics, Marketing Management and Supply Chain Management. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, traveling, movies and photography.

BIO Roel Vanmaele, managing director at Ahlers Europe

Vanmaele Roel managing director at Ahlers Europe Roel Vanmaele has more than 25 years of supply chain solutions and contract logistics expertise. Since 2015, Roel is the general director at Ahlers Europe. After obtaining his Master degree in applied economics, Roel started his career at Van Gend & Loos, a logistics Belgian company that was later acquired by DHL, and worked as a branch manager at Coldstar. Between 1999 and 2015 – before joining Ahlers – Roel gained extensive experience as the managing director of Wim Bosman Solutions & SystemPlus Logistics Services and DBH Logistiek, a Benelux distribution- and logistics network.


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