Logistics supply chains cross from mode to mode. Advanced information and communication technologies contribute towards co-modality by improving infrastructure, traffic and fleet management and facilitating a better tracking and tracing of goods across the transport networks. For several ITS systems freight transport has become a pioneer market due to its smaller size and more consolidated organisation and ownership.
ITS technologies are essential for the introduction of eFreight, whereby “en route” information on the location and condition of transported goods (especially for dangerous goods and live animals) is made available online in a secure way. In the future this may lead to a concept of “intelligent cargo”, meaning that goods become self-, context- and location-aware as well as connected to a wide range of information services. e-Freight also includes the vision of a paper-free, electronic flow of information associated to the physical flow of goods. A deployment strategy for ITS, incorporating navigation systems, digital tachographs and tolling systems, can contribute to change in the logistics chain.
The road mode is a principal mode for freight transport, both for bulk and manufactured goods. For Green Freight Corridors the combination of alternative fuel vehicles and intelligent transport systems for long-distance and multi-modal traffic will be important.
To promote innovation, the Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan encourages the use of information and communication technologies in freight transport. It outlines the vision of paperless information flows accompanying the physical shipment of goods. It will also help make traffic management more efficient by promoting intelligent transport systems as well as facilitate the roll-out of innovative services. Emerging technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the possibilities offered by satellite services will revolutionise freight transport.
Core services include tracking and tracing (especially dangerous goods and animal transports), fleet management, intelligent truck parking and remote freight information.