A truck drives from A to B and returns empty. This is clearly not economically or ecologically responsible.
The European Commission-funded LOGISTAR project, Logistics Planning and Scheduling in Real Time, aims to change that practice, with effective planning of transport operations in the supply chain. Testing is currently underway, where three use cases will be tested under a real operation environment.
The purpose of LOGISTAR is to leverage available data in the supply chain, process it and then deliver services implemented by smart algorithms.
These are the three live use cases currently:
- Optimizing warehouse operations by using precise estimated times of arrival, predicting incident detection and deploying efficient re-optimization. Thanks to this, the use of warehouse resources are optimized and the waiting time for operations is reduced.
- Improving the routing of loads in different transport modes such as trucks trains and ships. In this way the costs of logistical operations are reduced, and the use of infrastructure is optimized.
- Horizontal collaborative planning of resources to share costs and reduce emissions. As a result, the number of empty kilometers traveled by trucks is reduced.
The subject for the first use case was eliminating the need to send trucks back empty. How does such a test week work?
One of the LOGISTAR partners, Ahlers from Belgium, has planned the test down to the last detail. The tests will focus on the application partners Nestlé and Pladis, food companies which run thousands of trucks every day. They have a vested interest in this research, their combined companies reduced the running of empty vehicles by 270,000 kilometers per year since 2007. Currently there is a lack of a global view of the operations, which can lead to missed opportunities of collaboration.
This test case will show how the information delivered by the decision-making tool developed in LOGISTAR can improve backhauling management. The aim is to not send the cargo trucks back empty, rather have them take some cargo back to the original source.
Software AG’s role
The Software AG team led by project manager Christian Gengenbach (VP Research at Software AG) built the basis for the demonstrator. It is partially implemented in Cumulocity IoT analytics and messaging. The messaging means that all components - visible and invisible - communicate with each other but does not make them dependent on each other.
"This is very helpful in the project because seven technical partners are independently developing complex components that have been assembled one after the other over the last few weeks,” said Gengenbach.
Event processing capabilities make sure that disruptive events, like traffic jams or weather problems, are forwarded to the appropriate components.
Here are the five main benefits of LOGISTAR:
- Optimization techniques increase the load factor of freight vehicles by 10%
- Synchromodality (smart use of different transport modes, like rail, inland waterway or road, in one route) shortens the delivery routes by 10%
- Increases the reliability and efficiency of services by predicting events and incidents
- Facilitates management of logistical operations by providing dashboards and showing alerts or recommendations
- Increases the visibility of the delivery, derived from the use of sensors to monitor goods shipped.
Without a smart IoT system, none of this would be possible. More tests are underway in the project, where services will be tested in a real operating environment in all three use cases.
Check out the LOGISTAR project by clicking here.
And learn more about what Cumulocity IoT can do for your supply chain and logistics problems by clicking below.