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Innovative ICT solutions for future logistics operations


Building on previous work in the e-Freight domain (including developments on rail TAF TSI, road ITS, inland waterways RIS, maritime SafeSeaNet, European GNNS programmes and aviation SESAR) and on the work of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum[[]] proposals should cover the development and integration of at least 2 of the 3 following issues:

A) Planning and data

―Develop electronic booking and planning systems for freight to find the best (combinations of) modes and optimal route (e.g. GNSS based route analysis or opportunities for “milk runs”), to progress towards a completely paperless environment and freight traceability information allowing better network exploitation and more efficient logistics operations.

―Identify opportunities for increased availability of freight data (such as shipments, volumes, statuses, destinations, etc.) taking into account security, privacy, data ownership and policies for data sharing[[The methodological aspects of data handling and the development of necessary tools in order to allow for effective data mining and data exploitation will be addressed in topic MG-8.2-2017 on big data in Transport.]].

―Develop algorithms to increase both load factors and optimise the planned delivery route, based on the specifications of Modular Load Units, the vehicle or container and all required destinations.

B) Dynamic routing and business models

―Develop event management systems that create visibility and transparency and allow real-time exception management for faster traffic reconfiguration and increased resilience.

―Develop business models for dynamic transport services (e.g. cargo was automatically switched between barge and train because a truck encountered traffic congestions and was late at the hub).

C) Interoperability and everything connected

―Develop simple connection tools that allow low-cost integration of SMEs in the supply chain, offering two-way communication and allowing both efficient planning of their part of the supply chain and giving feedback to other stakeholders.

―Integrate simple and cost effective sensors or smart devices (IoT, ITS) into supply chain data management tools.

―Harmonise interoperability between supply chain partners, allowing easy information sharing and creating trust in the complexity of multi-modal transport. Solutions should link all public and private stakeholders.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 to 5 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In a logistics sector with highly increased collaboration, intermodal and dynamic re-routing of freight, there is a need to exploit ICT advances such as Internet-of-Things, big data, new satellite navigation infrastructure and Intelligent Transport Systems with changes in business needs. We need to rethink the way we plan, book and execute freight flows, new systems should provide all stakeholders with reliable information and allow exploitation of the full potential of horizontal collaboration. Furthermore we will need to match the increased need for real-time and open data to plan and track shared freight with guarantees that the exploitation of this data is both safe and secure. Given the vast number small and medium sized enterprises active in the transport sector this project should have a clear focus on the ease of access to all future ICT solutions. To maximise the impact of data sharing, it is vital to also consider the needs and policies of all public stakeholders (cities, regions, road operators, customs authorities, etc.).

To realise the full potential of horizontal collaboration, real time data and high interoperability, actions are expected to demonstrate how the following aspects will be achieved:

―Better, more flexible integration of ICT solutions and operational processes, linking the digital and physical flows.

―Seamless freight transport execution across Member States and modes of transport.

―Increased reliability and reduced transit times.

―10% higher load factors and 10% shorter delivery routes resulting in respective reductions in fuel consumption and in lower emissions.

―Viable business models for collaborative and dynamic transport services