In the latest logistics and transport project the EU has funded a collaborative effort between 36 companies and academic institutions to develop a comprehensive logistics software system that will help maintain the movement of goods even during severe shifts in the market.
The project, called the ePICenter, is funded under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, with the EU contributing €6.84 million (US$7.67) of a total budget of €7.37 million (US$8.27) for a project that started this month and is due to conclude its work at the end of November 2023.
According to a spokesman for the project lead, the Port of Antwerp, “The ePIcenter will create an interoperable cloud-based ecosystem of user-friendly extensible Artificial Intelligence-based logistics software solutions and supporting methodologies that will enable all players in global trade and international authorities to co-operate with ports, logistics companies and shippers, and to react in an agile way to volatile political and market changes and to major climate shifts impacting traditional freight routes.”
The 36 collaborators in the ePICenter include UK university Herriot Watt as well as Chinese, Canadian, Polish and Columbian academic institutions. With transport and logistics companies from across Europe, mainly, and technical companies as shipper participants.
“ePIcenter will reduce fuel usage (and corresponding emissions) by 10-25%, lead to greater utilisation of greener modes of transport reducing long distance movements by trucks by 20-25% and ensure a smoother profile of arrivals at ports which will reduce congestion and waiting/turnaround times,” according to the profile for the project.
Aimed at producing a 21st century logistics system that reduces emissions, but is also innovative in its solutions through the use of technology including artificial intelligence, blockchain and robotic systems while also accessing the EU’s Copernicus Earth Observation programme and the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), global positioning system.