Digitalization is a key enabler in the transition towards a healthy logistics and freight transport system. Such digital innovations are developing at a very fast pace, albeit in 2 separate worlds: logistics and traffic management.
In logistics, digitalization is driven by private stakeholders in the manufacturing and services sector, supporting tactical and operational management problems such as inventory and transport planning, routing and scheduling.
In traffic management, ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) applications focus on the collective of vehicles – both for freight and for people – in traffic flows, aiming to optimize capacity use and resilience.
Developments in ITS are driven by road authorities and ITS solution providers and have not yet permeated into logistics operations. While the main actors in logistics and traffic management are very different, both could benefit from a more integrated approach. In the end, both suffer daily from the same problems of congestion and travel time uncertainties. If both sides continued to innovate in isolation, they risk growing further apart rather than becoming more integrated.
In the project, integration of transport logistics and traffic management was defined as the main innovation challenge. Given the growing pressure to increase the sustainability of both freight transport and traffic systems, unlocking the potential of an integrated system is of great importance.
The potential of this integration goes well beyond passing congestion information to route planners, the current state of practice. Promising advances include customization of travel time predictions, traffic management measures for specific user groups and dynamic planning and routing. This leads to more efficient routing decisions, less traffic and less emissions. Also, carriers or hubs can provide traffic managers with traffic status or routing information to improve their predictions or inform infrastructure changes. Benefits are found in the wider traffic system as well in the private logistics operations.
The mission of the FTMAAS Living Lab is to connect these two subsystems by developing, implementing and testing integrating applications, aiming for a significant impact on logistic performance and on traffic networks.