Green corridors by means of ICT applications
Within the EU-27 CO2 emissions for transport increased by almost one-third between 1990 and 2008. This plainly shows that the transport sector continually raises its contribution to environmental pollution. Against this background the EU-Project Supporting EU's Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan on Green Corridors Issues (SuperGreen) aims at promoting an environmentally sound development of the European goods transport. For this purpose, the project explores how freight corridors within Europe can be arranged in a more sustainable way. As one approach the project determines which role a smarter use of ICTs thereby can play. The present paper describes the motivation behind this approach, explains the research strategy and provides first results harvested after one year of project activities. ICTs for freight transport are, for example, routing planners, weather-information tools or tracking and tracing applications. These systems enable an efficient utilisation of transport resources and a simplified management of the supply chain. Consequently, their application within freight corridors affords the reduction of CO2 emissions and thus accomplishes greener transports. Beyond, non-environmental attributes such as transport costs, time and reliability are improved as well. In order to exploit this great potential of ICTs for the benefit of the SuperGreen objective, the approach starts by a broad collection of logistics ICTs. In the second step, single logistics nodes and edges of predefined freight corridors are tested for weaknesses concerning the exploitation of their resources. Based upon this it is analysed, in how far these weaknesses can be remedied by the compiled ICTs. The third step serves for the same examination focusing on entire logistics networks. As the fourth step it is evaluated to what extend each corridor thereby can be enhanced ecologically and economically. To advise the most improvable corridors for a prioritized ICT equipment the corridors finally are benchmarked.