MODULUSHCA addresses the recently introduced Physical Internet (PI). This vision proposes to use a new framework of logistics especially designed for the sharing of resources, thanks to open standards on unit loads, real time identification and routing through open facilities.
In this framework, potentially all goods are encapsulated in smart eco-friendly unit loads and are handled, stored and transported as best fit in smart eco-friendly modular unit loads through shared facilities and across open networks.
For this reason, MODULUSHCA integrates five interrelated working fields:
- Developing a vision addressing the user needs for interconnected logistics in the FMCG domain.
- The development of a set of exchangeable (ISO) modular logistics units providing a building block of smaller units.
- Establishing digital interconnectivity of the units.
- Development of an interconnected logistics operations platform leading to a significant reduction in costs and CO2 emissions that will be demonstrated in two implementation pilots for interconnected solutions.
In order to achieve the goal of the project, a series of problems need to be addressed and overcome in order to succeed. Key challenges are in particular:
- Feasibility: Key will be the integration of the ISO Modular Logistics Units into existing handling processes. MODULUSHCA will develop a concept and implement key components for interconnected logistics. Such an introduction can only be achieved in a gradual process in which traditional logistics procedures and interconnected logistics procedures are taking place in parallel.
- Acceptance: The willingness of logistics actors sharing networks and resources is linked to the success in increasing load efficiency and sustainability. Standard modular unit loads suggest high potentials to increase load efficiency and reduce empty transportation. In addition MODULUSHCA addresses several issues to limit transaction costs by means of enhanced and standardized IT and planning approaches.
- Commitment: Large investments into loading units, handling and transportation assets is needed in order to achieve a critical mass of users and to improve the sustainability of the transport system.