Is it Possible to Manage and Plan Co-Modal Freight Transport Without a Centralised System?

Is it Possible to Manage and Plan Co-Modal Freight Transport Without a Centralised System?

Thomas Zunder (Newcastle University, UK), Hans Westerheim (SINTEF ICT, Norway), Ronald Jorna (Mobycon, The Netherlands) and Jan Tore Pedersen (MARLO AS, Norway)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/jal.2012040103


The European Union has looked to develop ICT systems that are open and interoperable. Through the case study of the Freightwise research project a research gap was identified: Is it possible to manage and plan co-modal freight transport without a centralised system? The adoption of software methodology and business process mapping enables the development and the validation of the Freightwise Framework for co-modal freight transport. The Framework divides the freight transport domain into manageable sub-domains and defines the main roles that need to interact as well as the necessary interactions in between these domains. The main roles identified are: the Transport User and the Transport Service Provider, supported by the Transportation Network Manager and the Transport Regulator. The Framework also defines a generic specification of a transport service and a small set of sufficient and necessary information objects that need to be exchanged between the four main roles. This paper explores the goal, context, methodologies utilised, results and validation in multiple business cases. The paper ends with reflections on how the results may be developed and implemented.
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An efficient transport system is at the heart of economic growth in a global market. It is also a source of negative effects including congestion, noise, and air pollution (Maibach, 2007). The European Commission (EC) aims at achieving a sustainable and competitive transport systems (European Commission, 2011). Roads in Europe are highly congested and in many areas unable to take any more traffic. Over the last ten years road freight market share has been increasing while the rail freight share has decreased, even though the modal shift of freight from road to rail, sea and canal and the use of inter-modality has been at the heart of European transport policy (Holvad, 2009). The EC in 2006 introduced the policy of co-modality (European Commission, 2006). This freight transport policy includes the operational technique of inter-modality, and aims to optimise each mode’s strength separately and together, in the pursuit of sustainable economic growth and jobs. In this context the EC has looked to develop ICT systems that are open and interoperable and support the Commission’s policy. The Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan (European Commission, 2007) explicitly calls for the development of e-freight and states:

“..(ICT) can greatly contribute towards co-modality by improving infrastructure, traffic and fleet management, facilitating a better tracking and tracing of goods across the transport networks and better connecting businesses and administrations. However, a number of obstacles to a more wide-spread and seamless use of ICT in freight logistics need to be overcome, including the insufficient standardisation of the respective information exchanges and market actors' disparate capabilities to use ICT...”

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