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Project to show how transport logistics can benefit from Physical Internet


KARLSRUHE, Ger.– The second International Physical Internet Conference will be held in Paris at the University Mines Paris Tech, from July 6 – 8, 2015. The event includes the final presentation of the MODULUSHCA project (Modular Logistics Units in Shared Co-modal Networks) which was coordinated by the PTV Group in order to show how transport logistics can benefit from the Physical Internet.

The Physical Internet (PI) is a new concept aiming to improve logistics in terms of economic and environmental efficiency. It is based on the idea that the use of standardised, modular logistics containers and the cooperation of all parties involved will help to optimise the entire supply chain.

Containers of different sizes facilitate coordination between manufacturers and retailers regarding the quantity of goods ordered and delivered. Collaborative logistics planning and transport execution improve vehicle utilisation and reduce the number of empty runs. An open information concept enables all stakeholders to plan and track shipments along the entire transport chain, covering all logistics stages. Using a PI system would mean to allocate goods to various warehouses so that they are available at any location when needed.

The aim of PI is to make logistics and transportation more efficient and flexible. Just like on the Internet where information can be sent via open channels, it will one day be possible to ship goods via a global logistics network, said the release.

Projects like the European MODULUSHCA project help manifest this vision. MODULUSHCA, the first project towards the implementation of the Physical Internet, is coordinated by PTV. It analyses the feasibility of open logistics networks where shippers and transport service providers work closely together. Standardised logistics units (M-boxes) were developed and tested. They allow users to combine items or ship units onto a single shipment. This solution aims at building the basis for an integrated logistics system at European level. The overall concept and individual components such as unit handling and loading as well as the provision of an optimal network of hubs were also tried and tested. Moreover, an IT system and architectures for interconnected logistics were developed as part of the project focussing on the effective use of capacities available in logistics networks. They will be presented at the event, together with all other project results.

The conference will also focus on other initiatives in this field, such as the European BESTFACT project (Best Practice Factory for Freight Transport), which collects, develops, evaluates and provides innovative ideas on city logistics, green logistics, co-modality and e-freight. The conference thus represents a key opportunity to find out more about the highly dynamic environment of European projects, share views and market perspectives and discuss future solutions.)


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