ePIcenter is developing new technologies and software that will enable all players in global trade and international authorities to co-operate with ports, logistics companies and shippers, and to react in an agile way to volatile political and market changes and to major climate shifts impacting traditional freight routes.
The scope of innovation is very broad, covering synchromodal logistics optimisation, advanced data sharing and visibility solutions, Physical Internet, Hyperloop, Autonomous Electric Vehicles, Modular Containers, AI fuel optimisation systems for ships and advanced route planning systems for Arctic shipping, integrated with new methods and research into cetaceans and how shipping can reduce its impact on marine mammals.
ePIcenter brings together 36 partners (port authorities, logistic service providers, manufacturers, academic institutions and technology partners) from all over Europe and around the World.
ePIcenter has many success stories, most of which result in greener and more sustainable global logistics operations. At the same time these solutions save money for logistics companies and their customers, delivering a true win-win for all stakeholders.
ePIcenter has delivered an impressive and wide ranging set of innovations and technologies. These results deliver short-term benefits to industry, while increasing the sustainability of logistics operations, and facilitating a deeper understanding of the potential of future logistics concepts and technologies such as the Physical Internet, synchromodality and Hyperloop.
The following briefly describes some of the innovation areas covered by ePIcenter:
Synchromodal logistics algorithms: highly innovative optimisation and scheduling algorithms have been developed that can be applied to existing logistics networks to reduce costs and GHG emissions, and can also be used to simulate and study the impact of new technologies (e.g. Hyperloop, modular containers) and new freight routes (e.g. Silk Road rail, Arctic shipping).
Physical Internet: advanced algorithms and analytical models have been used to develop a deeper understanding of the Physical Internet concept and its beneficial impact on logistics operations, with applications to network optimisation and facility location analysis.
Trusted Data Sharing Layer: an innovative approach to sharing information in the logistics community, providing powerful tools to facilitate exchange while retaining control, respecting the balance between effective collaboration and commercially sensitive data.
Visibility Solutions: building on the increased availability of real-time data to provide advanced dashboards and platforms which increase visibility and control along the logistics chain, allowing operators to reduce costs and GHG emissions.
Modular Containers: known as “Connectainers”, these sophisticated shipping containers help address the global problem of equipment repositioning, allowing a standard 40’ container to split into two 20’ units when needed, supported by advanced IT solutions for visibility and traceability.
Autonomous Electric Vehicles: advanced and environmentally friendly autonomous trucks enable sustainable and cost effective transport of goods, supported by sophisticated optimisation and routing algorithms to maximise fleet efficiency.
Hyperloop: in ePIcenter the potential applications of this futuristic technology have been analysed in depth, leading to a number of exciting use cases in freight transport and sustainable logistics, taking advantage of the low resistance/low energy characteristics of this mode of transport.
Freight Network Configuration Impact Comparator: a flexible and powerful toolset has been developed to allow rapid simulation and analysis of new transport technologies, modes and paradigms, applied to Hyperloop and other technological areas mentioned above.
Ice Navigation Simulation Software: increased interest in shipping activity in Arctic waters means that sustainable routing and operation of vessels is more important than ever. ePIcenter has created powerful new tools to help ships choose the right route to reduce costs, fuel usage and impact on the environment.
Cetacean Research: reducing the impact of shipping on whales and other marine mammals is becoming an increasing priority. In ePIcenter new understanding of this field has been developed, including providing inputs to navigation systems (please see previous item) to help ships intelligently avoid certain areas or reduce speed in sensitive regions.
AI Driven Ship Propulsion: a significant reduction in fuel usage (and therefore GHG emissions) can be achieved by applying the AI ship propulsion algorithms developed in ePIcenter. Alongside the navigation and cetacean-aware routing approaches this provides a highly innovative approach to “green” shipping.
“The incredible range of innovations in the project, the depth of technical expertise of the consortium, and th epositive impact of the technologies on sustainability in global supply chains, make participation in ePIcenter very exciting and rewarding.”
Julian Stephens, Technical Development Manager @ MJC²