Freight transport and logistics will have a central role in EU’s transformation into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.
The Europe 2020 Strategy sets specific objectives in terms of:
Energy efficiency and decarbonisation, to be achieved through “intelligent traffic management and better logistics, pursuing the reduction of CO2 for the road, aviation and maritime sectors”.
Economic growth, requiring that “transport and logistics networks enable industry throughout the Union to have effective access to the Single Market and the international market beyond”.
Despite promising pilots and availability of basic technology components there is still a substantial gap between common logistics practices and the future vision of Internet of Things and Services.
The iCargo project aims at advancing and extending the use of ICT to support new logistics services that:
Synchronize vehicle movements and logistics operations across various modes and actors to lower CO2 emissions,
Adapt to changing conditions through dynamic planning methods involving intelligent cargo, vehicle and infrastructure systems and
Combine services, resources and information from different stakeholders, taking part in an open freight management ecosystem.
To achieve these targets, iCargo will design and implement a decentralized ICT infrastructure (the iCargo Ecosystem) allowing real world objects, new planning services including CO2 calculation capabilities and existing systems to co-exist and efficiently co-operate at an affordable cost for logistics stakeholders.
Shippers, logistic services providers and support services providers participate in the iCargo ecosystem to deliver less costly and less polluting logistic chains that meet the client expectations, thus increasing the competitiveness of both the individual players and the sector as a whole
The iCargo ICT Infrastructure architecture mixes and matches existing state of the Art (in SOA, Resource oriented frameworks, Cloud Computing, etc.) with some innovative technologies developed by the project.
These innovations collectively describe a Resource Oriented and Event Driven Entity Centric Service Architecture for Logistics supporting:
Vertical and uniform support from Sensors to Logistics Applications levels
Virtualisation of services through a Publish-Subscribe Architecture
Virtual Network with Multi-protocol and Multi deployment support
Seamless connectivity, while maintaining secure and controlled access through distributed peer-to-peer replication.
Real time network status updates to use for example for Emissions Monitoring: Sharing amongst many users, computational services, for example for CO2 calculations (free or paid-for).
Logistic Network Awareness: Obtain regular updates to the status of logistics objects without having to subscribe to multiple web sites/portals or other online sources.
Connected things through Wireless Sensor Network Gateways and routers to Internet services that fulfil the application logic for the user. Today, for the most part, each vendor provides a cloud service for the devices they sell, e.g. Twine. There are also cloud services that allow any connection, providing an API for anyone to connect, for the purpose of integrating multiple devices.
The iCargo Ecosystem is a ‘parallel universe’ mirroring logistic processes, resources and data and offering capabilities for co-operative, synchronized and real-time management of transport resources (i.e. intelligent planning and controlling transport logistics chains) to optimise efficiency, quality and environmental performance.