CO3 European Project: Improving transport efficiency and sustainability through horizontal collaboration


Towards a more competitive European freight market through increased capacity utilization and sustainability

Statistics show that 1 out of 4 freight vehicles are running empty and that the rest are filled only to 57% of their weight capacity. An innovative solution to drastically increase the capacity utilization of the European freight transport system is collaborative transport to synchronize freight flows of multiple supply networks, or “carpooling for cargo”. This will allow the transport sector to become more sustainable, in terms of economic, environmental, and social benefits. This mental shift is clearly the idea behind CO3, the EU FP7 funded project being launched this month.

‘Consumer product prices are rising due to increasing fuel and transport costs. Instead of trying to pass this increasing cost to consumers, manufacturing companies should try to collaborate and be more responsible to make their logistics processes more efficient’ according to Frank Arendt, Associate Director Logistics Purchases at Procter & Gamble. The CO3 project will build upon this new trend of improving efficiency in transport through collaboration.

Running from September 2011 to 2014 and spanning across the European Union , this project will draw upon the expertise of a broad group of partners, including universities, private companies and innovative SMEs. A High Level Industry Board comprising of large multinational manufacturers and logistics service providers operating in the EU, will ensure the relevance of the project focus to industry needs. CO3 partners will strive for fewer and friendlier miles in European transport networks by using co-modality and multilateral collaboration among logistics operators.

In fact, researchers sponsored by ECR UK show that a radical shift from existing independent supply networks to introducing multilateral collaboration is one of the few cost efficient strategies that can meet the target to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.

In order to promote this shift, CO3 will test an innovative operational and legal framework giving companies guidance on how to undertake the change in operations, also providing regulation for trustees and orchestrators as main neutral actors. The underpinning of the framework among companies should have a long term effect on the competitiveness and sustainability of the EU markets in the future, creating a market of „carpooling for cargo‟, in addition to the traditional groupage and freight forwarding.

During its lifespan, the CO3 project will implement across Europe real life test projects whose results and learning will be in the public domain. As such, the project will reach out and provide valuable information to logistics practitioners (businesses, shippers, logistics service providers). CO3 will also provide them with specific workshops and a platform where they can find potential collaboration partners.

More information about the project

Contact person: Dr. Silvia Rossi [email protected]

Project coordinator Co³: Dirk’t Hooft [email protected]

Media Coverage:

El Economista

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