Transforming Logistics: Real-time Routing and Tracking with Neo4j


An international logistics company needed to build a new data platform for tracking and real-time routing 5 million parcels per day. The business operates 24/7/365, serving internal as well as B2B and B2C clients. The solution handles three thousand calculations per second within the logical network and integrates with a mixed software stack in a message-driven architecture. Implemented in 8 months—from design/POC to production. The system went live 2 months before its seasonal peak, when it hit peak performance, scaling linearly and running without a hitch.

The Challenge

“We brought the entire logistics network to Neo4j to give unparalleled flexibility." —Dominik Wagenknecht, Technology Architect

One of world’s largest international logistics providers had reached the capacity of its routing database and turned to Accenture, global leader in IT consulting, to implement a solution. Dominik Wagenknecht, Technical Architect led the team in the design and planning of a new data platform that would integrate with legacy applications and database systems to increase capacity for real-time routing and tracking. The goal was to find a solution to deliver 24/7/365 service to speed up operations and ensure scalability for business growth.

The Solution

“A logistics network is a graph, and doesn’t fit the table structure of a relational database well,” says Wagenknecht. The team chose Neo4j for its flexibility and scalability. With Neo4j’s native graph storage and processing engine, transactions took milliseconds, not minutes, for high-speed, full graph, database traversals.

“Growing companies need to break and reconnect lines, and Neo4j handles this really well. Being able to receive data from external data sources, and leverage Neo4j for the routing calculation, as well as the master source of route data, has been a big technical and cost benefit,” says Wagenknecht. “Business constantly evolves, and Neo4j’s flexibility allow for changes rapidly.”

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