The eighth International Physical Internet Conference – the world’s leading Conference focusing on the future of global freight and logistics industry (IPIC2021) took place online on June 14-16, 2021.With more than 400 participants,150 speakers and 32 sessions in seven parallel streams, researchers of the two ERTICO-coordinated projects 5G-LOGINNOV and FENIX were delighted  to share latest research, developments and implementations in the field of physical internet and inspire lively discussions on the future era of interconnected transport, logistics and supply chain. 

The Physical Internet Initiative aims at transforming the way physical objects are moved, stored, realized, supplied and used, pursuing global logistics efficiency and sustainability. With over 400 participants from around the world, this year’s conference deployed an ambitious programme of 32 sessions in seven parallel streams and brought more than 150 top-notch speakers from industry, international institutions, the research community, policy makers, standardization committees, Ph.D. students and other key actors in the transport, supply chain and logistics community, together.  All of the participants contributed to an open discussion on the challenges, opportunities and the future of the freight transport and logistics sectors.

Organized by ALICE – the European Technology Platform ALICE and ICCS – the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems this year’s conference was dedicated to ‘building a smart hyperconnected era for efficient transport, supply chain and logistics’. The 5G-LOGINNOV project had a dedicated session titled ‘Smart technologies and applications in Physical Internet Ports and Hubs’, taking place on 15 June 2021.

5G and data were at the core of the sessions organised by 5G-LOGINNOV and FENIX, in the framework of optimising and maintaining operations in ports and logistics hubs and using data to not only provide information on the number of transport users but also to measure the success of the policies and strategies. The coordinator of the two projects, Dr Eusebiu Catana, answered a few questions on the importance of physical internet and data in logistics.

How important is the role of data in logistics?

Data represents the new kind of “fuel” in transport & logistics for the 21st century. Any application aims to utilise data exchange and innovative logistics services enabled through the FENIX federation ecosystem in order to support LSPs and shippers through various use cases such as:

  • Publishing capacity and demand data for freight transport carriers
  • Publishing of warehousing capacity supply data
  • Viewing and search of warehousing capacity supply data
  • Viewing and search of road freight transport capacity data
  • Road freight transport data capacity supply-demand matching
  • Data analytics

How are FENIX and 5G-LOGINNOV using data and for which scope?

The FENIX and 5G-LOGINNOV projects will bring a novel paradigm in the transport & logistics sector. By building a new type of data-driven services, the two projects will develop a new data-based business market. The high-tech SMEs and start-ups will become key players in the data monetisation landscape, bringing creativity, agile and quick development of digital information and a pragmatic business scale.

What barriers can digitalisation overcome in the logistics sector?

Almost 30% of journeys in logistics are performed by empty trucks. In addition, non-empty trucks travel on average half-empty. This results in underutilised transport capacities, and thus, lower efficiency for LSPs and users. There are barriers associated with fragmentation in matching the demand and supply for freight transport services, as well as with the lack of horizontal collaboration. Digitalisation in the logistics sector will contribute to a collaborative environment based on data exchange and innovative logistics services enabled through the FENIX federation, in order to support LSPs and shippers through cargo demand/supply matching, quotation/booking management, paperless transport (eCMR), cargo tracing and proof of delivery and corridor analytics to support policymakers.

For further information on the IPIC2021, click here.