Henrik Sternberg and Andreas Hagen, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Paolo Paganelli, Insiel S.p.A, Cesare Battisti, Italy
Kent Lumsden, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Abstract: Today, the transport industry is facing increasing demands on reducing both the environmental impact and cost of freight transports. Another demand, coming from the end consumers, is the demand for ecological accountability, so-called ecological foot-printing, meaning that the emission of every freight movement is distributed to the freight. Previous research shows that transport planning, system integration and control are some of the key factors to achieve more sustainable transport setups. One of the major obstacles preventing these factors is the complexity of international supply chains, with several involved actors. Smart Freight is a holistic concept, integrating transport management and state-of-the-art technologies for freight tracking and vehicle monitoring, in order to enable improved management and accountability of freight transportation. The purpose of this research is to explore how Smart Freight can be used to control, track and reduce the environmental impact of goods transportation. This research is based on two in-depth case studies and a demonstration prototype of one of the studied transport setups. An extensive amount of data was collected between 2006 and 2008 through interviews, video filming, document studies, physical travel with the freight flows, seminars, prototype building, literature and desktop studies. The result of this research highlights the weaknesses in today’s control of transport operations and presents a model for how Smart Freight enables a more environmentally friendly and accountable transport system.
Keywords: transportation, intermodal, information sharing, information systems, environment, smart freight.