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05 March 2018

ITS UK: freight experts call for technology to support deliveries

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com

Members of ITS (UK)’s Freight Interest Group have raised concerns that relying on autonomous vehicles and platooning to provide future solutions may be diverting attention away from current technology which could help in the short-to-medium-term, at the Industry 4.0 Summit in Manchester.

The group suggested that logistics efficiency could be improved by better communication with light goods vehicle drivers. Additionally, signal timing technology could decrease the number of stops that Heavy Goods Vehicles make in towns and city centres to help reduce congestion and emissions, and that this technology has been successful with lorries transporting wings for Airbus planes moving to Bristol.

At the event, the forum heard how the production of some goods are finished and packaged locally in an added value logistics warehouse or fulfilment centre and then taken the last few miles for delivery. The new ways of working highlight the need for the logistics industry to utilise alternatives to deiseal lorries to comply with green city aspirations.

Geoff Clarke, hon secretary of the Freight Interest Group of AECOM, said: “It was heartening to hear many interesting ideas for using technology to assist logistics in the future. Many of those solutions exist today in the passenger transport industry and could easily be used by and for freight companies as well. At the event where the way factories will operate in the future was showcased, it is clear that the freight industry will have to embrace more technology in order to keep up.”

Jennie Martin, ITS (UK) secretary general, added: “The Industry 4.0 Summit showed a lot about how the Internet of Things and blockchain will revolutionise manufacturing, and with logistics as a key part of the supply chain, there are many opportunities for the technology to play its part in the delivery of those goods as well. ITS (UK)'s range of expertise can help facilitate an understanding of these emerging solutions.

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