Tuesday, 28 October 2008

EU - Greening Logistics

The EU has put out a policy summary of what's going on in Europe around the Greening of logistics. It describes the the policy milestones, including the Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan introduced last year, and the issues around optimising various modes of transport. You can read it here.

There's some interesting (and controversial) stuff in there, but one part that caught my eye is the fact that the Logistics Action Plan requires the EU to develop a road map for the implementation of the 'e-freight concept'. This is to allow freight to be traced electronically for a journey that could include various modes of transport, potentially making it safer, more reliable, more efficient and quicker, whilst also simplifying regulatory procedures.

The paper points out that the widespread deployment of ICT in freight logistics is being hindered by a lack of standardisation between countries and transport modes. The hope is that as technologies develop, particularly RFID and the use of the European Galileo satellite positioning system, e-freight will become more affordable and take off in a big way.

This is certainly a prime area of focus for Green IT in the future. Even in the short term, cost issues are going to mean the introduction of any systems that can make logistics solutions more efficient, but in the longer-term we're looking at broader and more flexible ICT solutions for more dynamic logistics operations, particularly in Europe. Suppliers need to be studying policy and legislation closely to stay ahead of the game.

© The Green IT Review

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