Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The global challenge is to find the right business models for a number of separate activities that when brought together can foster synergies that satisfy the seemingly mutually exclusive objectives of decoupling the growth of urban and inter-urban freight transport demand from its consequences on traffic and the environment. This can be done by horizontal collaboration between retail, distribution, logistics, traffic management, vehicles and their users whilst exploiting synergies from the vertical integration down-stream to the customer in a more intelligent chain. Moreover, mutually compatible collaboration should not be restricted to inter-urban/urban relations and enhanced regional logistics is necessary where joint use of regional logistic platforms, the set-up of new transport structures/networks (like consolidated rail cargo; improved trans-shipment terminals especially for rail, etc.), multi-level logistics, ecological supply chain design including modal shift, are all considered. The following trends need to be considered:

·      Redesigned global logistics processes, including the last mile component of the logistics chain. The redesign requires a sound information infrastructure for retailers, consumers and utility service providers and collaboration of authorities, shippers and logistics service providers along delivery chains.

·      E.commerce developments with the subsequent need for personalised, secure and efficient order fulfilment and delivery, by establishing collaborative and mutualised business cases.

·      Unit loads and packages that create a more efficient handling of products in the supply chain and thereby support the last mile delivery, especially in response to e-commerce.

·      The transition from the current independent supply networks to open global networks where resources are compatible, accessible and easily interconnected.

Scope: Proposals should establish and demonstrate mechanisms to foster synergies through:

·      Improved collaboration and concerted actions between all authorities, shippers, retailers and logistics service providers for door-to-door transport.

·      Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and cloud based services, integrated into an on-line planning platform that offers new means of communication amongst vehicles, between delivery vehicles & traffic management and to end users.

·      The design and delivery of a proof of concept model for e-commerce logistics execution.

·      Developed tools and test cases for the mutualisation of truck use. An example would be to provide a mechanism for the public internet auction of logistics services (e-bay type) centres on the trading of back-loading opportunities.

Participation of SMEs with proven experience in these areas will be considered an asset.

Ethical aspects referring to the transport of livestock should be duly considered where appropriate. The work should assess social implications, especially the effect on employment and the economic effects of the solutions envisaged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 16 to 20 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Actions will contribute to:

·      Reduce the number of delivery vehicles by at least 10% and hence limit congestion, pollution and GHG emissions.

·      Improve truck and container load factors (+ 50% in test cases and overall stabilise load factors) and provide new 'back-load' possibilities.

·      Serve as an inspirational example for future market collaboration.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

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