The project aims to increase sustainable freight transport, relieve congestion at key bottlenecks, remove technical barriers to modal shift and using ICT to make better use of existing infrastructure capacity in North West Europe (NWE), including by changing private sector behaviour.
NWE manufacturing is increasingly outsourced and far eastern markets for NWE products are growing rapidly. The project treats logistics in this global context. It also uses best practices from other densely populated areas via its observer network of other European and Global ports (e.g. Zeebrugge, Shanghai).
It focuses on the East West sustainable freight corridor across NWE, with underused port and sea transport capacity at the same time as heavily congested land infrastructures. It helps integrate the peripheral western and northern regions of NWE and complements north south corridor initiatives such as Code 24. It was developed as a Strategic Initiative responding to the brief of the NWE programme authorities. It provides a platform for developing innovative ICT management systems and real life freight operational demonstrators.
The project will show how to achieve higher productivity within the logistics industry and how targeted investment can improve the capacity of existing infrastructure. Weastflows addresses the need for globally connected freight flows between the North West European Program area, the rest of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and China. It enables global logistics companies and port operators to work together under a neutral Interreg platform. overcoming boundaries e.g. a traditional reluctance to share amongst competitors.
It links the NWE east-west corridor to key crossroads with the North-South axis in Code 24. It will build on innovative but fragmented private sector experiments to share facilities and influence better environmental performance by freight companies. The 22 full partners (plus 15 observers) cover all NWE Member States except Switzerland.
Freight transport infrastructure An atlas of maps of NWE has been created using Geographical Information System (GIS) data to show existing freight transport infrastructure across all modes including road, rail and sea. A complementary report is also available outlining the usage of major freight routes by each mode. Further work will include identifying key bottlenecks and alternative routes to improve both efficiency and sustainability. An online ‘GeoWeastflows’ portal has also been created to bring the interactive analysis of transport and logistics infrastructure data and statistics to a global audience: www.weastflows.eu/news/portal/ Green freight corridors Work is underway to identify, test and promote sustainable, multi-modal supply chains for moving freight. Outcomes include a report, which will highlight current transport modes, infrastructure and operations and include recommendations to help integrate green transport into the supply chain. Sustainable logistics gateways A report that sets out the parameters for defining the concept of a ‘sustainable gateway’ has been produced. Further work is now underway to pilot and test the sustainable gateway concept in a selected number of geographic areas. Once complete, a reference guide will then be created for NWE and other gateways. Three ICT systems research reports have been produced to analyse a variety of ICT systems applicable to the freight industry. A select number of applications were highlighted to help improve and encourage sustainable freight operations across the region. Research on related EU projects A database and report have been produced on relevant freight logistics projects within the EU and beyond. This research will enable Weastflows to learn from the experiences of other similar sustainable freight transport related projects and feed in these best practices to help shape the outcomes of the project. Intermodal ICT route planner An intermodal route planner is being tested in the Netherlands to enable transport operators to plan more sustainable and multi-modal freight journeys. Freight transport companies including carriers, third party logistics providers are using the route planner directly through a shared web portal. Further information Co-operative driving for freight transport Three in-car technology pilots are currently being trialled on the A67 east-west freight corridor in the Netherlands. These pilots aim to help freight transport become safer and more sustainable through more efficient driving techniques. The technology will also to help manage existing road capacity improve and traffic flows. Further information. Efficient port operations Portsmouth International Port is currently trialling a web portal and barcode system to track and trace goods from origin to destination more effectively. The port has been able to show a reduction in failed truck journeys and an improvement in internal port efficiency