North Sea Freight Intelligent Transport Solutions
The project NS FRITS from the INTERREG IVB North Sea Region Programme of the European Union with a duration until the end of 2011 aims to optimise intermodal transports in the North Sea region - primarily for the road transport sector to support the truck drivers.
Project’s core is the design and prototypical implementation of an IT system to collect and to analyse user specific information with the aim to provide data for corridors and nodes such as ports, e.g. to traffic flow, congestions or safety information. The Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics as the German project partner and subcontractor of the Bremen Senator for Education and Science will validate this system in a pilot project in Bremerhaven to improve the driver information.
Against the backdrop of the project’s objectives, the aim of the Bremerhaven pilot is to get valuable information for truckers, haulage contractors and terminals by creating a concept to optimise the interface between truck and seaport, e.g. by the use of an advance notification system or an active truck appointment system including potential incentive systems. The communication between the partners is to be enhanced and the different parties are to be made able to plan and manage their business operations more efficient, e.g. concerning traffic flow or safety and security issues. Therefore, the transportation areas of container, automobile, general cargo as well as high and heavy cargo are regarded. The concept of the Bremerhaven pilot project is designed to be applicable to other ports.
Within a workshop in Bremerhaven, preliminary results were presented to the local stakeholders from the port and logistics sector. Following the ISL and the NS FRITS project team discussed the conceptual approach with the local stakeholders. The concept contains a catalogue of measures, including infrastructural steps, applications (IT solutions) and services for the truck drivers. The infrastructural measures involve standardisation (like the Trucker Card) as well as extended offers regarding parking areas and other structural measures. The most important approach is to establish a central interchange with the bundling of port services (terminal, customs) and thus an acceleration of the processes for the drivers. The aim is to standardise the notification of transports up to the truck appointment at the terminal with wider accessibility. Based on the infrastructure measure "central interchange" the concept provides a notification, which leads to a reduction of traffic congestion and reliable clearance times. The increased use of notification is also a demand of a working group set up by the Bremen Senator for Economy and Ports consisting of regional container terminal operators and companies of the transport industry. This was stated in the working group on a previous day of the NS FRITS workshop.
Another focus of the concept lies on supporting drivers with route- and transport-related information like advices to crime hotspots, traffic situation, weather conditions, secure parking, parking area utilisation, waiting queues as well as parking space for dangerous goods. Furthermore services to support the completeness of the accompanying documents as well as order-related status messages are planned to ensure a smooth transport.
In order to cover the analysis of the interface between the trucks and the port, from the notification of the transports up to the truck appointment systems and construction measures related to them, the ISL conducted a survey by the drivers at the terminals in Bremerhaven in October 2009 to find out their opinions and wishes. One aspect of the truck driver’s needs is to improve the parking situation and parking equipment. Another issue is still the waiting time at the terminal and at the customs based on peak times.
In a role play with different scenarios the ISL demonstrated the concept’s future workflow for individual participants, such as drivers and dispatchers. One scenario for example, was the contract for unloading and loading containers in different terminals in Bremerhaven. Another setting was a cross-border transport between Bremerhaven and Rotterdam. Thus, for example showed how the driver with appropriate information is able to react on new situations, e.g. by bringing forward the rest period to avoid unnecessary waiting time. In addition, the development partners AVANTI (UK) and VOLVO (Sweden) presented a prototype that allows to prepare regional information in several languages and to provide them to the drivers entering a defined corridor area.
To get a consensus of the concept, the truckers, haulage contractors, terminals and port authorities in Bremerhaven are involved actively. Therefore, the aim of the workshop was to give the participants a feel for the conceptual approach and to get an assessment of individual elements of the Bremerhaven pilot. The subsequent range of opinions of the participants revealed a broad agreement on the concept. For example, a wish is to allow a notification for all partners via different communication channels, such as EDI or a web interface as a common interface for all terminals. By providing information along the transport chain, starting with the compilation of the accompanying documents up to the information status on the route and in the port all attendees attested benefits to their own business.