Coordination of core European supply chains using Optimization
In CO2REOPT, the robust and dynamic replanning of timetables, optimal disruption management, and design of cross-border synchromodal transport chains, will be studied from a supply chain perspective. The objective is to 1) adapt timetables to the supply prediction at the origin, the demand at the destinations, and the hub conditions and storage predictions underway, while taking fleet availability and transport leg balance in consideration, and to 2) design optimal cross-border synchromodal transport services. For this purpose, two freight corridors will be considered: 1) the main European iron ore corridor, by railway from Kiruna and Narvik, by ship from Narvik to Rotterdam, and again by rail from Rotterdam to central Europe, and 2) the Samskip services between Norway, Sweden, and various locations in Europe via the ports of Rotterdam and Duisburg. For the first one, the synchronization of timetables and (re)planning of dispatching need to be coordinated to make them effective from a supply chain perspective. For the second one, the economic optimization of synchromodal transport services is central. The two cases are interconnected as a synchromodal service can directly benefit from improved disruption management. The potential impact is both to decrease dependency on road transports, to increase freight punctuality on the important iron ore corridor (+15%), and to support the development of new synchromodal transport services. The decreased dependency on road transports will lead to improved sustainability of the transport chains.
For the more general objectives:
Integration and synchronization of manufacturing, inventory and transport chain. By considering two corridors in Northern Europe, and by linking timetabling and real-time dispatching, with synchromodal chain planning, the project integrates different transport modalities with the production.
Providing a clear and univocal voice in the area of research and innovation on logistics. The involved research institutions have a long record of studies in transport and logistics. The project aims at defining a common view on the major research challenges on logistics. It will trigger tight cooperation by different Northern European actors, whose operations need to be better coordinated along shared corridors.
Reduction of congestion and CO2 emission. This will be achieved by increasing average speeds through improved synchronization, thus reducing congestion, and by providing more robust timetables which are able to accommodate uncertainties in time synchronization. This increases the attractiveness of environmentally friendly multimodal transports via rail.
Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains.
Economic: Robust timetabling and effective dispatching increase overall efficiency and reduce operational costs and improve vehicle utilization. More punctuality and less congestion increase the offered and perceived quality of service. Finally, automation of normal dispatching operations will increase the responsiveness of the system.
Environmental: Reduced congestion and increased punctuality of trains will reduce the time spent by rolling stock and freight in the system, giving a positive effect on reducing total emissions.
Social: Less congested lines will improve safety and reduce noise. Safety is also increased by a significant reduction in the workload of dispatchers, which in addition will experience better working conditions.