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Building of advanced freight chains and logistics technology (umbrella: generates projects, but does not carry out r&d)

Re-engineering of international transport along main
european corridors for sustainable freight mobility. The
aim is to stimulate freight chains in europe, improve and
develop competitiveness for intermodal transport chains.

Every forecast in the field of freight traffic and transport indicates that growth in long-distance, international truck transport will continue to escalate in the next decade. On the other hand, rail cargo transport during the last decades has continuously lost market shares in many traffic areas and categories of goods. But, problems of road infrastructure congestion and pollution of the environment have reached critical levels. Particularly transit highways, border crossing points along the Eastern borders of the EU as well as in the North-South corridors (Alps), and the road systems of highly populated metropolitan areas have been affected by these developments to an extent that urgently requires action. Growth rates will be particularly high along 'West-East' European traffic lanes, as the East-Central and South- Eastern European nations become more integrated into the EUROPEAN UNION and continue to experience above average growth. On the other hand, North-South freight transport has already achieved a high volume and will increase even further. If the growth of truck transport along these lanes is not curtailed, and if - at the same time - the rising demands of industry and retail for 'seamless', 'borderless', highly integrated, intelligent logistical services are not met, the attainability of fundamental objectives of European policy will be jeopardized: - necessary economic integration and growth in the Eastern- Central European countries will be slowed, - desired progress in environmental protection, mobility for citizens, and hence the quality of life most affected by traffic congestion will reduce one of the most important problems of the North-South corridors, - the competitiveness of these will be weakened relative to other areas in the global economy. These arguments demand that efforts be made to enhance the use of intermodal systems and to achieve a better integration of rail and inland waterways/coastal shipping. This, in turn, will only materialize if a significant increase of their performance and market attractiveness to shippers and other transport organisations is achieved. The opportunities to initiate the necessary changes and innovations in intermodal, rail and inland waterways operations, on the other hand, seem very good at this time: - deregulation and privatization of previously strictly government administered railroad systems is under way in all European countries - if at different stages. This raises the level of motivation among railroad organizations to change and to become more demand-oriented than in the past; - European integration has reduced the customs requirements and other bureaucratic hurdles that have slowed down international rail movements in the past. Further lowering of related restrictions will occur thereby enhancing the opportunities for 'limitless' cross-border freight chains; - Driver shortages, delays on congested highways and border crossings, and growing sensitivity towards environmental concerns are increasing the willingness of truck fleet operators to shift portions of their business to intermodal, rail and inland waterways as long as suitable service quality and competitive price levels are made available. This unique combination of pressures and opportunities suggests that a major European research initiative should be undertaken in order to get the involved actors to cooperate, systematically identify problems and obstacles, develop new technological, organisational and managerial solutions, and test and communicate these through model demonstration projects. LOGCHAIN aims to: * involve the critical actors (railways, logistic service providers, shippers and industries and retail) to stimulate market-led initiatives to study and create new solutions in a truly holistic fashion; * make a significant contribution to the stabilization and future competitivness of European transport systems as well as sustainable development in freight transport; * enhance opportunities for regional development; * show how modal-mix improvements can be realized through focus on industry and cargo-specific logistical demands; * develop models for step-by-step re-engineering of intermodal, rail and/or ship based freight chains; * focus on selected, major and representative trade corridors across Europe (East/West; North/South); * select typical major freight chains at the industry level (i.e. parcels and express freight carriers, inbound consumer goods supply systems, two-way industrial chains); * identify and evaluate performance indicators and logistical best practices; * re-engineer and reconstruct freight chains to improve freight services; * road map design for demonstrators; * integrate different solutions on information data flow within the supply chains and help the involved enterprises, i.e. industry and shippers, operators and service providers up to the customer using a common general information chain for all partners involved by eliminating any critical bottlenecks; * ensure that new logistics chains can be opened by using new telematic solutions in the fields of disposition, transport engineering, logistic services and marketing; * improve multimodal rail/short sea/road services by developing new combined production schemes in goods traffic (i.e. conveyor belt production scheme in connection with block train services or mixed trains of different combined traffic systems). Keywords: transport, freight, intermodal logistics.
Acronym: 
LOGCHAIN
Project ID: 
2 402
Start date: 
21-06-2000
Project Duration: 
68months
Project costs: 
0.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.