Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The challenge for industry is to overcome the stress caused through dealing with the increasing length, complexity and vulnerability of supply chains while enhancing the performance, quality and knowledge needed to plan seamless transports of goods. To this end, a better understanding is needed of the technological and operational opportunities that 'slow steaming' and synchro-modal operations and other relevant concepts provide.

Scope: Proposals should assess the added value of, and the technical, economic, political, social (including the effect on employment and safety) and organisational aspects of the whole transport and logistics supply chain (both inland and overseas, long and short haul) regarding:

·      The impact of slow steaming on supply chains, production processes, storage and warehousing availability and trade lanes including opportunities that exist to de-stress other transport modes and make slow steaming and de-stressing a positive economic as well as environmental success.

·      Information systems including e-Freight tools, infrastructures, smart coordination mechanisms, policies, and legal possibilities to be able to use different transportation modes flexibly to deliver maximum value to the shipper or end customer. This should demonstrate through implementation the added value of synchro-modality in networks and services.

·      The work should focus on technology specifications, business models and governance structures for both 'slow steaming' and synchro-modal vehicles/vessels and technologies as well as the provision of technologies for communication to the transport mode and its driver/operator, in order to fulfil logistics paradigms and new business models, including collaboration regimes. A profound benefit to sustainability is expected.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 to 8 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: Slow steaming offers a strong potential to reduce operating costs of a liner shipping company. A limited reduction in speed may lead to almost halving the costs of bunker fuel and environmental impacts. Both synchro-modality and 'slow steaming' will enable logistics to operate more sustainably, at lower costs and at higher quality. This will bring benefit to freight intermodal transport by significantly improving freight transfer efficiency and hence help replace road only transport by incorporating other modes with less external negative effects, as well as improving the utilisation of existing infrastructures in order to meet expected increased demand.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

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