New research project aims to tackle problem of empty running

New research project aims to tackle problem of empty running

Work has started on FreightShare Lab (FSL), a new collaborative research project focused on tackling the transport inefficiencies associated with empty and partially laden truck-running.

Co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, the 30-month FSL project aims to demonstrate how strategic data and asset sharing between multiple road/rail carriers and shippers can reduce empty running and under-utilisation of freight vehicles.

More specifically, FSL is looking to provide “real-world validation” for a feasibility study conducted by World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in 2016, called the Road Freight Lab, which estimated that asset sharing could deliver a 20% reduction in fleet CO₂ emissions from road freight transport.

The FSL consortium partners Route Monkey, Transport Systems Catapult, Heriot Watt and DVV Media will develop an open data software platform for the optimisation and co-ordination of shared assets. The platform will act as a strategic planning tool; integrating job and vehicle data from shippers, fleets and carriers.

“Unlocking the spare capacity inherent within the logistics sector will deliver substantial efficiency savings to commercial vehicle users, shippers and the British economy,” said Colin Ferguson, Managing Director of Fleet and Optimisation for Trakm8, which owns Route Monkey. “Through the application of advanced optimisation algorithms, FreightShareLab will allow freight companies to collaborate and share their spare vehicle capacity. We have a number of logistics companies on board to work with the consortium, is a very exciting project with enormous potential both in the UK and the rest of the world.”

Andrew Traill, Principal Technologist, Freight and Logistics at Transport Systems Catapult, added: “The transport industry is being swept by a technological revolution and the Freight sector, which often operates on fine margins, can gain a great deal from capitalising on the innovation this is bringing.

“FreightShareLab is an excellent example of this: by developing a unique collaborative model, sharing assets to deliver the optimal logistics solution, this project aims to maximise use of logistics capacity and bring efficiency savings to the sector and its customers whilst bringing significant environmental benefits.”

Freight carriers or shippers who would like to be part of the initiative should contact Sarah Ferguson on [email protected]

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