Reating a sustainable future, economically, socially and environmentally is critically dependent on sustainable transport. Freight transport and logistics will have a central role in EU’s transformation into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. The flagship initiative “Resource efficient Europe” of the Europe 2020 Strategy sets specific objectives in terms of:
Resource efficiency and decarbonisation, to be achieved through “a low-carbon, resource efficient and competitive transport system based on modernised transport networks”.
Economic growth compatible with sustainability, by “decoupling environmental impacts from economic growth, while assuring the competitiveness and innovative character of the European transport industry”.
The challenge is to transform the knowledge gained in recent years to establish measures capable of being adopted throughout Europe at a scale and magnitude commensurate with the EU policy impact targets. This perspective demands in depth understanding of prevailing conditions along characteristic European freight corridors in terms of transport business intensity, traffic density and its impacts, availability of intelligent infrastructure, and potential problems for stakeholders and society at large. Critical pre-condition for solutions is cooperation between cargo managers and transport services providers thus ensuring real-time supply chain visibility under various operational conditions.
EcoHubs provides models and capabilities for cooperation and communication between multimodal terminal network stakeholders, amplifying, thus, their joint capabilities. It also establishes Common Value Added Services which, combined with existing services, facilitate end-to-end co-modal, low-CO2 transport solutions that maximise utilisation of terminal and logistics resources and transform multimodal terminals into Green Hubs.
Cooperative Model for Green Hubs enabling low-carbon, resource-efficient and secure transportation services
Ecosystem for electronically connecting multimodal terminal network stakeholders. The result will be faster communications, shared resources and synchronised actions. An important focus will be integrating information obtained from on-going transport execution (visibility of supply chains) into planning processes (facilitated by hub operators) to ensure the best possible environmental and economic performance
Common Value Added Services to be combined with existing services, facilitating end-to-end co-modal, low-CO2 transport solutions that maximize utilisation of terminal and logistics resources. Common services will include:
a. Intermodal terminal eco-efficiency calculator;
b. Integrated competitive services for managing improvements in eco-efficiency;
c. Measuring and Benchmarking System to provide the means of long term monitoring of greening activities and disseminating best practices at all supply chain levels and EU regions.
Four EcoHubs Demonstrators to be used across several representative operating scenarios characteristic of modern intermodal terminals.