LOGISTICS FOR LIFE
Logistics Industry Coalition for Long-term, ICT-based Freight Transport Efficiency
The project was motivated by freight transport's heavy reliance on fossil fuel, its contribution to CO2 emissions and its impact on the environment and quality of life. These issues are counterbalanced by considerations specific to the logistics industry, where attempts to direct cargo towards environment friendly transport modes are failing to meet expectations, and firms face problems of volatile fuel prices, infrastructure saturation and low margins typical of a commoditized sector.
Logistics for LIFE brought together leading logistic companies, technology providers and research organisations working on innovative ICT solutions to ensure long-term sustainability of the logistic industry by increasing its operational efficiency. L4Life has driven European ICT for Transport research in the direction of making logistics operations more efficient, and thus more environmentally friendly and financially and socially sustainable in the long term.
The following results were achieved by the Logistics for Life project:
- creation of a multi-disciplinary network of logistic companies, technology providers and researchers actively pursuing efficiency-related initiatives within EU, national or industrial programs. The Logistics for LIFE Coalition was structured and organised to grow its membership by attracting key stakeholders from outside the Consortium, and to continue operating after the end of the project.
- establishment of a reference framework where logistic efficiency requirements from different stakeholders are related to sustainability strategic objectives on the one side, and to existing and looked-for ICT solutions on the other side.
- development of a strategic roadmap including concrete actions and strategies that would guide and facilitate the effective implementation of ICT solutions identified in the reference framework for energy efficiency in logistics. Both the framework and the related roadmap would be periodically updated with stakeholders' input, collected through the Logistics for LIFE Coalition activities, and aligned with Commission programs development as well as with input from other forums and EU projects.
- promotion of the Logistics for LIFE vision and findings, as well as relevant results from the Coalition members related projects, through a coordinated plan of dissemination activities targeted primarily to the transport logistic industry community. To this purpose, the Coalition planned to participate in major conferences and expositions on transport logistics and to coordinate the organisation of joint workshops between member projects, so as to maximize dissemination output.
- establishment of a common working platform for the community of users and researchers working on logistic long-term efficiency, including: public and private websites, on-line forums, document repositories and other web-based collaboration tools. The platform served several purposes: on-line discussion on stakeholder issues, collaborative work on the framework and roadmap documents, networking, and dissemination of material and publications, and was open to both Coalition members and external participants, who can join through a controlled membership request and registration process.
More than 100 projects were identified and analysed on international, national and regional level. The results were dynamic, research projects changed over the life time of the project. The observatory showed that the topic had been relevant for several years especially at European level. Several solutions support at least one sustainability dimension on a software level as well as on a business model and framework level. The analysis provided the following results:
- Availability of several interesting ICT solutions, i.e. the technology can be provided, but the practical application, information on ROI and efforts needed in order to implement the solutions, lack. These projects need to be taken to the next step and the solutions need to be further explored. The results need time to penetrate the supply chain and transport sector before the satisfying degree of penetration will be reached. Logistics for LIFE supported this process by leveraging the information to a broader audience.
- Examining different ICT solutions, there were only a few projects and initiatives for green and cost-effective freight transport. This seems to have an interesting relevance for the logistic service providers and freight carriers.
Based upon these results, around 15 projects dealing with ICT solutions supporting energy efficiency within the freight sector, were chosen. The relevance of each project was evaluated according to the following main categories:
- Positioning (needs to deal with freight transport)
- ICT solutions and supported functionalities
- Impacts on financial, environmental and societal level
Innovating for the future: technology and behaviour.
Promoting more sustainable development