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Networked and efficient logistics clusters
Deadline: Sep 29, 2016  

 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

To meet the objective on a shift towards emission-low transport modes and consolidate freight for more efficient transport along green freight corridors we need to better integrate transport subsystems and modes. This integration and the trend towards bigger vehicles/vessels/aircrafts for long-haul transportation services, requires a strengthened role for hubs or transhipment points, connecting (sections of) the TEN-T freight network with each other and last mile delivery services. On the other hand, such nodes have a major impact on the area in which they are located, creating employment and connecting it to all other regions in Europe, as well as intercontinental transport through (air)ports. Both sections, long distance and local, will be operated by dedicated vehicles, optimised for their operating environment. Furthermore both will also need intelligent freight bundling to maximise equipment utilisation, requiring more efficient transhipment, cross and inter modes. These requirements can be met by automated cargo handling of Modular Load Units.


Proposals should cover the development and integration of all the following issues:

―Identify opportunities to extend the role of hubs beyond transhipment (e.g. storage, handling, packaging, bundling and cleaning) and serve as seeds for smart specialisation and the formation of logistics clusters. Such clusters could integrate manufacturing (e.g. postponed assembly or other non-core manufacturing activities) and advanced logistics services (e.g. kitting for just in time delivery).

―Develop governance and business models for such smart specialised logistics clusters, including sharing of (manufacturing) resources to attract investments in new value-added services.

―Development of prototype Modular Load Units, optimised for automated handling and high load factors in all transport modes, in line with existing standards.

―Development of prototype automated loading and unloading systems, extending outside the building or site and taking into account (local) traffic management, thus maximising all assets utilisation and avoiding congested roads, large parking lots and increased capacity of the cargo handling equipment to deal with peak loads.

―Optimise environmental performance of logistics clusters and assess the carbon footprint of existing hubs and the proposed solutions to extend their role and automate their services.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 to 6 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

To meet the challenge on more efficient and sustainable freight transport, proposals are requested to demonstrate how the following will be achieved:

―Increased added value of hubs, integrating manufacturing and sharing resources to create logistics clusters with a much higher impact on local economies

―Less congestion, energy, emissions, carbon footprint, noise and land-use

―Improved door-to-door logistics performance (faster, cheaper and more reliable).

―More efficient goods handling (30 % cost reduction) stimulating multi-modal transport solutions.

―Increased inter-modality and higher resilience of the transport system.

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