European Union commissions BMT to develop framework for the continent's transport infrastructure
BMT Transport Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of BMT Ltd, has been commissioned by the European Union (EU) to coordinate the development of a management framework for the continent's intermodal transport system.
The project – FREIGHTWISE – is being developed by a consortium of 55 partners in 14 European countries with a budget of €13 million, €7.9 million of which is being contributed by the EU.
As the EU undergoes expansion and the continent battles overcrowding in its transport infrastructure, FREIGHTWISE will allow the Commission to formulate future strategies that support intelligent intermodal freight transport solutions.
Intermodal transport – i.e. one transport using a combination of modes – has been deemed crucial in encouraging the use of more sustainable modes of transport such as rail, short sea shipping and inland waterways.
Peter Schmutzler, Managing Director of BMT Transport Solutions GmbH, said: “Intermodal transport represents the future of the European transport infrastructure but there are many commercial, technical and organisational obstacles to overcome before transport services can be combined into an efficient transport chain.”
“Rapidly changing business and administrative practices demand a high level of flexibility from the transport industry both in terms of the services offered and the management systems.”
The FREIGHTWISE research project will lead to the production of a virtual transport network and a stakeholder framework that will provide a blueprint for managing the interaction between co-operating organisations region wide.
The virtual transport network allows users to assess the available transport services for a specific transport chain by running the relevant operational and commercial information through FREIGHTWISE. This will facilitate the integration of transport services across Europe and foster closer co-operation among stakeholders while preserving commercial integrity and confidentiality requirements.
The stakeholder framework takes the principle of co-operation even further by setting out business guidelines to support the management of intermodal transport chains across the range of companies and institutional actors (e.g., customs or port authorities) involved.
This stakeholder framework will facilitate the definition of contractual terms and liabilities and appropriate information management processes such as reporting rules or confidentiality and security aspects.
Another output is integrated reference architecture to support the modelling of business processes and information flows and facilitate the design of interoperable transport management systems.
The conceptual work in FREIGHTWISE will be strongly informed by nine FREIGHTWISE business cases covering various transport scenarios and geographic areas. The business cases will provide realistic requirements for the FREIGHTWISE reference architecture, and in some cases also serve as a testbed for re-engineering solutions based on it.