Scope: Due to the increasing online trade and the growing relations within the business world, on the private as well as on the business sector, the need for small goods transports raises. An important role in the B2B sector plays time critical shipment, often for longer distances as well. Typical examples are urgent spare part deliveries, contract originals, product samples or other urgent consignments. Since there are currently no standardized high frequency CEP services, urgent shipments are executed via individual deliveries on the road, which is expensive and not ecological. Even on the private sector there is a demand for timely but cheap deliveries across long-distances.
In Austria as well as in most parts of Europe, there is a dense network of public transport. In particular the rail system provides regular traffic connections and high speed across long distances, which could be used synergistically for transporting (time-sensitive) goods. Compared to previous years, when almost every train had an own luggage/parcel wagon, now in most of the trains there is no suitable (spatial and technical) infrastructure, which enables the secure transport of small goods. Target of the project CargoPV is to analyse, whether and according to which conditions the dense network of public transport, in particular rail and long distance bus, can be used for transporting small consignments.
In order to compensate the lack of infrastructure in the vehicles, three possible transport scenarios are being considered:
- Using publicly accessible rooms and multipurpose areas in railway stations or in the train by e. g. lockable transport boxes, or
- Travelers as possible "carriers" in the sense of "Crowd Logistics", or
- Any combination of both versions in order to create a very flexible transport chain.
Further within the project upcoming options should be considered as well. The project CargoPV is an exploratory project and does also have the goal to find out, whether there is sufficient demand for such systems and how it has to be structured to be accepted by future stakeholders and to work reliably.
Method: Initially all possible scenarios, where the system CargoPV can be applied (e. g. B2B Express), will be defined. Therefore, the best possible combinations of first mile, main transport and last mile along the transport chains in the information flow and the physical flow of goods are to be explored. Methods for process planning, goods flow analysis and IT application planning will be used, whereas, the usability and simplicity of the system have to be focused. The market demand will be estimated by scientific valuation methods. In order to offer an attractive and reliable service, which is sufficiently demanded, the interests of potential private customers and commercial users have to be explored and focused within the project, too. Therefore, private individuals and business representatives will be interviewed concerning their needs and requirements regarding the envisaged services but also for their willingness to use such a system. There will be interviews e. g. in trains and online surveys. At the same time there will be discussions with various industry players.
In order to develop such an attractive and reliable system, the requirements and willingness of potential transport providers does also have to be gathered to the same extent via the surveys and interviews and furthermore, expert interviews and focus groups. Subsequently technical and legal requirements and challenges shall be collected and analysed, which will bring up proposals for technically feasible implementations, configurations of the necessary technical infrastructure (smart boxes, smart terminals) as well as web applications. To increase the efficiency of the progress and to continue finished pre-projects, this project will build on the results of the FFG projects "GutzuFuß" and "smartBOX".
In the end any learning will enable an assessment whether the envisaged system concepts and components have a chance of being implemented, and if so - in preparation for a following implementation project - to identify the implementation opportunities and risks. The result and the incremental value of the exploratory project CargoPV are thus clear statements whether the new small goods transport system is a feasible and realistic perspective by building on available sustainable mobility within existing public traffic systems. In case of yes, the necessary framework and further research and development requirements will clearly be defined.