ACL is a collaborative project that supports the coordinated development of logistic centres and thus fosters the connection of areas with low accessibility in the southern and eastern Baltic Sea Region (BSR) to the European transport network and international trade flows.
The project’s main objective is to improve accessibility and logistic processes, both via land and sea, to strengthen economic ties between emerging countries like Belarus, Russia or Ukraine and EU member states within the BSR. As transnational supply chains become more and more segmented, the number and importance of logistic centres grows inevitably. In all countries considered, there are plans to extend the network of inland freight villages. At the same time, ports aim to integrate more and more logistics functions in their service portfolio. The resulting distribution of cargo processing locations offers the chance to better supply areas that are not directly located along the main transport corridors.
ACL wants to bring the actors of the transport sector together in order to push interaction and knowledge transfer and stimulate mutual understanding and awareness. It aims to offer transparent services to the market which are neutral in terms of competition.
To achieve this, ACL will organise workshops and conferences, arrange staff exchange programmes and initiate an embedded policy forum for effective dissemination of project results. The project partners agreed to compile action and business plans focusing on specific issues.
The findings are completed by in-depth research of permanent working groups, being installed for each of the work packages (WPs):
- WPs 1 and 2 being reserved for project management and communication
- WP 3: Flow of Goods and institutional / legal aspects especially relevant for low accessibility areas
- WP 4: Sustainable and efficient transport concepts and multi-modal transport chains
- WP 5: Regional Logistics Integration for areas with low accessibility
Reflecting the tasks assigned, the project partnership consists of representatives of ports, logistic locations, public authorities and research institutions from six countries in the BSR. Associated partners like important commercial players, relevant associations and further authorities make complete the ACL consortium.
The expected output of ACL is increased accesibility of remote areas for cargo within the region. The coordinated transnational development of logistics centers will contribute to this. Knowledge transfer between the partners and transnational market players, and cooperation to harmonize transnational logistics services are importat side effects, too. With this, ACL will create benefits for both customers (better services), companies (stronger partnerships) and regions (increased accessibility of remote areas).
The final ACL conference entitled "Challenges, concepts and recommendations – the transport and logistics sector in the Baltic Sea region", concluded in Hamburg at 27 February 2014, brought the ACL project to a successful end. The conference was used as platform to present the final project results and hand over the final brochure to high-ranking representatives from the politics such as James Pond, Senior Consultant for the TEN-T Corridor "North Sea-Baltic" of the EC.
In addition to the final brochure all fundamental findings from the analytical project part (WP 3 & 4) has been merged in form of a summary recommendation paper on the promotion of accessibility and connection of remote areas in southern and eastern BSR
Finally a guideline was elaborated summarising the results of WP 5 entitled: Strengthening the logistics sector in the Baltic Sea Region. This paper covers an assessment of the experience gathered at four logistics centres in the BSR, which serves as a basis for the formulation of general recommendations for building, implementing and operating logistics centres.
Moreover the improvement of transport management, particularly the use of appropriate IT solutions, is a key element of ACL. Accordingly ACL has developed two IT solutions, which facilitate transport chain organisation, operation as well as logistics promotion:
- The Transport Border EDI package, which improves the information flow between all partners in an intermodal transport chain. Especially for smaller ports like the port of Elblag this slim tool will be an enormous benefit. Selected ACL partners have taken over the task of promoting the tool further on.
- The online service PORTlog is a marketing tool for logistic service providers. The core idea is to act as a broker for professional contacts between service providers and (potential) clients. According to matching criteria, companies can be selected for specific purposes.
For more details on outputs and results please check the project homepage: www.ambercoastlogistics.eu.
An active involvement of the business sector was a core element of the ACL strategy. Close contacts with the business sector have been strengthened with the result to establish joint logistic activities and to learn about obstacles and challenges of border-crossing transport into the East. As a result ACL has significantly contributed to establish new business cooperation e.g. between the Ports of Klaipeda and Sassnitz as well as between the Logistics Centres of Frankfurt Oder (DE), Prilesie (BY) and Kaluga (RU). To build up these and further cooperation ACL partners and associates joined networking events like TransRussia Moscow 2012 and the Transport & Logistics Fair in Minsk 2013.