To promote efficient and environmentally friendly transport alternatives in the North Sea region, the project "Grecor" (Green Corridor in the North Sea) has dedicated itself to the development of a multi-modal transport corridor from Randstad (Rotterdam region) to Oslo.
Between 2012 and 2015, the Institute of Logistics, together with 13 partners from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Great Britain, researched the optimization and networking of trade routes in the North Sea region in the EU-funded large-scale project.
The results of the PITS sub-project (Professional Intelligent Transport Solutions), in which an online platform for planning environmentally friendly freight transport alternatives was developed through a cooperation of HILOG with Target Holding (Netherlands) and the Danish Technical University (DTU), received much attention.
This platform integrates transport information from different sources and generates multimodal transport alternatives depending on the user's specific requirements in terms of time, costs or CO2 emissions.
For this purpose, data on route networks and travel times first had to be collected, processed and made available in a database networked with the other system components. This data forms the basis for the representation and optimization of multimodal transport chains.
However, while in passenger transport - e.g., train, bus and air traffic - this information is largely available online or offline and in some cases centrally, this transparency is almost completely lacking in freight transport.
In addition, the few data available are in very heterogeneous data formats, which entails an enormous effort for processing. The main reasons for this are the highly fragmented markets in the freight transport business and the high competitive pressure.
From the restrictions just mentioned, it can also be deduced that the freight transport market in the region under consideration has a high potential to optimize CO2 emissions by using multimodal transport alternatives. Where ecological alternatives cannot be presented due to lack of information, they cannot be used.
The horizontal cooperation of the market participants, the growing transparency regarding the available route data as well as the introduction of a uniform data standard are essential prerequisites for a stronger use of multi-modal transport chains and thus a reduction of CO2 emissions in freight transport.