The decoupling of economic growth and transport growth represents a major objective within the European transport policy. The major contributor to transport growth can be seen in the increased transport intensity of value creation. On the supply side, the non-optimal utilisation of transport capacities and modes contributes to the growth of transport, for example, in the lack of acceptance of intermodal transport. This has been a major issue for policy makers for many years.
In order to get a better understanding of the interrelation between logistics decisions and transport demand, the EC supported a number of research projects, such as SULOGTRA, EUTRALOG and PROTRANS. As a result, substantial scientific evidence has been produced.
However, to achieve the Commission's objectives, these findings have to be translated into the daily operations of shippers and logistics service providers. To proactively encourage the adoption of such practices, a project consortium was formed in order to create a platform for the continuous exchange and dissemination of logistics best practices. The BESTLOG project addresses objective 3 'Re-balancing and integrating different transport modes' by establishing an exchange platform for the improvement of supply chain management practice across Europe.
The project consortium consisted of experts with a relevant research reputation, as well as expertise in the transfer of knowledge to all managerial levels within business.
The consortium established and supported an independent institutional platform addressing all stakeholders of logistics and transport in its set-up phase and during the initial period of dissemination. This included all relevant activities from dissemination strategy development through content provision to the preparation of dedicated awards, conferences and workshops.
Moreover, the consortium formed a strategy for the financial independence and the continued development of the platform on completion of the project. As a result, the platform operates as an acknowledged and established institution that is both self-funding and self-improving.
To pursue its objectives, BESTLOG:
- Collected and disseminated logistics best practice knowledge across Europe;
- Has created a platform for the ongoing exchange on logistics best practice;
- Has developed a certificate for European best practice in logistics;
- Regularly published a report on the state-of-the-art in logistics education;
- Developed training packages.
Communication is key to the BESTLOG project. BESTLOG therefore engaged in an active communication with stakeholders from all European countries and from all industries. An advisory and communications board was set up consisting of 58 members from politics and industry. It is recognised that logistics decisions regarding Europe are not necessarily made within Europe. Partners from the US and from Asia have therefore been included in the information exchange for mutual learning.
The results of the BESTLOG Project were:
- European platform for sharing logistics best practice;
- Online toolsets;
- Online directory of European logistics education opportunities;
- Logistics research database;
- Benchmarking on line for European countries;
- European conference to share logistics best practice;
- Industry workshop.
Based on the above results the beneficiaries can:
- Use the BESTLOG as a means of marketing their logistics solutions and logistics aducation services.
- Access to a Europe-wide best practice platform.
- Clicking on a button to find out on line how their logistics processes compare with those of the other companies.
- Contribute to EC strategy on logistics issues.
Since the official end of the BESTLOG project in May 2010 BESTLOG is run by the European Logistics Association through ELAbestlog (www.elabestlog.org).