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Cargo Hitching

Cargo Hitching


Subsidy from: Dinalog
Time period: 2012-2016
Budget : €1.9 million (RUG part: €300,000)

Consortium partners : Eindhoven University of Technology (main applicant), Biblionet Groningen, Binnenstadservice, Last Mile Logistics (COEPA), Connexxion, Green Cab Company, Lekkerland, Sectorinstituut Openbare Bibliotheken, Stichting Ubbo Emmiusfonds, Medialogistics, Urgenda & DOET, Groningen Seaports, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Universiteit Twente.

Combining people and freight flows creates attractive business opportunities because the same transportation needs can be met with fewer vehicles and drivers. This can make socially desirable transport options economically viable in rural areas where the population is declining. In urban areas it reduces congestion and air pollution and facilitates the introduction of electric vehicles. This project will design integrated people and freight synchromodal transportation networks and the related coordination (4C), planning and scheduling policies to enable efficient and reliable delivery of both persons and small- to medium-sized freight volumes.

Substantial growth and new business models are expected following the increasing freight volumes due to the Internet shopping growth and improved mode utilization (both in time and fill rate). New coordination mechanisms supported by ICT solutions leading to control towers, need to be designed to enable efficient integration. Additionally, price and sharing mechanisms have to be proposed to facilitate combining people and parcels transportation. This leads to successful business cases. We identify two high-potential areas: High-density areas, where congestion and pollution are pressing problems that can be alleviated because combining people and freight means fewer vehicles, and Low-density areas, where combining people and freight can keep public transportation and freight transportation at socially acceptable levels in an economically viable way.

Throughout this project, the potential and the necessary conditions, tools and methods for successfully integrated people and freight synchromodal networks are provided, analyzed and quantified. We identify strategic, tactical, and operational decision problems and specific joint research issues. These issues are risk management and gain sharing, identifying the enablers (related to ICT and data) and proof of concept leading to demonstration.

We have a number of workpackages. The first workpackage involves the management and organization of the project. The second workpackage aims to design methods to integrate nodes and functionality for integrated people and freight synchromodal networks. In the next workpackage, 4C (offline) planning and scheduling algorithms are developed leading to a control tower. The fourth workpackage will develop real-time decision-making tools for combining freight with unscheduled passenger transport. The last workpackage integrates the research into innovative transportation pilots and assures wide dissemination. This means that on multiple locations, vehicles and drivers will use the methods, algorithms and applications created by this project to implement actual freight hitchhiking. Direct cooperation relationships with other 4C projects (e.g., 4C4More and 4C4D) exist.

In order to make significant steps forward in logistics, new out-of-the-box ideas are needed. This project has the potential to lead to smarter transport by better integration of people and freight modes. Given new technology and real--‐time availability of information, it is possible to think ahead for new and challenging solutions and make a major leap forward. The communication and dissemination activities aim at generating an effective flow of information and publicity regarding the targeted objectives, the results obtained during the project, the contributions made to knowledge on people and freight transport and scientific excellence, as well as the value of collaboration on a Dutch scale, a European-wide scale and the benefits to citizens in general.

The expected results are very diverse. We expect a large number of scientific papers and three PhD theses. Next to this, many Master students do their internship in the companies in our consortium, leading to a large repository of information for our project. A number of business cases will be developed, leading to innovative pilots and possibly implemented new business models. The outcomes are expected to have long-term effects for all participants on their actual decision--‐making in freight and public transportation. Based on the results developed in this project a significant amount of added value in innovative logistics for the Netherlands will be generated.

Last modified:07 December 2016 3.58 p.m.