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Homecare Services

Medical care, nursing and support for elderly people will be a key factor in future logistics services with respect to cost and quality criteria. In the Homecare Services project an innovative communication system and logistics concept is to be developed that safeguards care for elderly people in their own homes - also, and particularly, in urban areas.

Demographic change is one of the big social challenges facing logistics. By 2020 every second (48 %) German citizen will be over 50 years old, in 2008 it was only every third (39 %) citizen. About 38 million people will then be requesting specific products, goods and services – from food and medication to nursing services – and have them delivered to their homes. Elderly people’s special requirements will have to be taken into consideration when it comes to handling orders as well as when making deliveries.
Requirements for delivering to elderly people are considerably different from the requirements in the everyday B2C field. Here’s an example: the elderly are often restricted in their mobility and might need five minutes longer to come to the door. With their stop density currently planned to be as high as possible, present logistics services are not prepared for that sort of change.

Objective of the project

In the Homecare Services project individual supplies to elderly people in urban areas including products, goods and services are to be improved and deliveries for the last mile are to be made more efficient. The main target group is people over 70 years (seniors), the secondary target group is people between 50 and 70 years (best agers).
During the logistical optimization of the last mile, the possible application of electro mobility is also to be taken into consideration as it is already being investigated for example in the project eBase4Mobility or in the associated project eRoute.

Specific innovations

Due to demographic development and the simultaneous trends towards urbanization and individualization, new logistical structures will become essential. Two modules will ensure that elderly people’s supplies and individuality are maintained and that resources are handled efficiently:
• a ”Senior Mall” as an order and interaction platform for elderly people where regional and special products and services are offered for senior citizens in a senior-friendly way. In this context the secure delivery of goods plays a key role as already being tested in the ePOD@Home project.
• a “control centre“ which allows new allocation and route planning. In this “virtual hub” customer and delivery-specific information are brought together, evaluated and optimized. Based on that, streams of goods can be combined, deliveries bundled and distributed to different forwarders. The basis for this is the Urban Information System (UIS) that was already developed in the Urban Retail Logistics project.

Partners in the Project

Fraunhofer IML


GS1 Germany GmbH


Rhenus eonova GmbH


Eikona AG


ANAXCO Solutions GmbH & Co. KG


Pflegedienst Hübenthal



There is great demand for research into new ordering and delivery concepts for the elderly generation: Homecare Services is developing alternatives for urban areas.

Contact person

Dipl.-Kfm. Thomas Bredehorn


Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML

Tel.: +49 (0) 231 9743 381
Email: thomas.bredehorn


Facts & Figures

Start of the Project

June 1st, 2013

Project Duration
24 months

Project Volume
1.7 Mio Euro

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