The New Synchro-Net Approach To Multimodal International Logistic Chains

Synchro-NET is the logistics European project co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme involving as partners DHL Supply Chain Spain (project coordinator), Bureau Veritas, Circle, Cork Institute of Technology, Cosco Shipping Line, CRAIN, Cross-border Research Association, EMC2, Fraunhofer, HydrOcean, Kongsberg Maritime AS, Kuehne+Nagel, LE Europe, MJC2, Politecnico di Torino, Rail Safety and Standards Board Limited (RSSB), SAM Electronics, Software AG and SYCO. Synchro-NET aims at developing an innovative platform, called eco-NET, which is designed to catalyze the uptake of novel logistics concepts like slow steaming and synchro-modality in a collaborative cloud-based eco-system. Through the eco-NET tool it is possible for the user to find the best possible succession of carriers between the sender and the consignee and compare through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key Risk Indicators (KRIs) several multi-modal solutions including ship, train and road transportation. The project is demonstrating how ensuring cost-effective robust solutions that de-stress the supply chain and reduce emissions and costs for logistics operations while simultaneously increasing reliability and service levels for logistics users. More in particular, Synchro-NET aims at up to 30% of potential reduction in CO2 emissions for shipping and land-based transport, a 25-30% increase in modal shift to greener modes, a 20-30% decrease of costs connected to the rescheduling of transport routes/modes, a 12-20% reduction in hinterland transport costs, and a 12-15% reduction of kms for trucks with fewer wasted repositioning movements.

As regards technological implementation, eco-NET platform is structured as a web application with a map-based, user-friendly interface and is divided into different modules: the main ones will consist of a simulator including an embedded risk analysis solution and a real-time booking module. A central role is played by the interaction between the following three modules: a Simulator, developed by Politecnico di Torino, a Risk Analysis Module, developed by Fraunhofer, and a real-time Synchro-modal Module, developed by MJC². The aim of the Simulator is to provide the user with a set of potential transport solutions, given the data and the constraints about departure and arrival times and locations, preferred or banned routes, transport modes, etc. For each solution, the Simulator provides a set of KPIs - such as length, duration, and emissions - and a set of KRIs - such as time and cost deviation, flexibility, and safety, provided by the Risk Analysis Module. The Real-time Synchro-modal Module allows final users to book and monitor their shipments. The module is directly connected with the Simulator in order to retrieve the information about the proposed routes, accordingly with the KPIs and KRIs, and the other selected parameters.

Eco-NET incorporates thus real-time synchro-modal logistics optimization, slow steaming ship simulation & control systems, synchro-modal risk/benefit analysis statistical modelling, dynamic stakeholder impact assessment solution, and a synchro-operability communications and governance architecture. The core of the Synchro-NET architecture relies on a service oriented architecture design and workflow aspects that allow logistic networks to communicate with the platform as needed in a highly granular fashion. As the architecture considers aspects of big data technology and cloud concepts, its versatile and capable to uptake future developments within the logistic sector. As the platform has been designed to be cloud enabled, it can be deployed in different scenarios according to the user’s preferences.

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