The Efficient and Reliable Transportation of Consignments (ERTOC) project, part funded by the government-backed Technology Strategy Board, has been launched by GS1 UK, Ricardo, Unipart Logistics, IRIS Technology and Coventry University to drive business improvement and sustainability throughout the supply chain from factory to point of sale.
The collaborative 2-year project aims to develop a standards based open architecture data hub to deliver accurate information for transport operators and their customers to use and improve business efficiency and effectiveness.
The focus of the project is to demonstrate how a standardised data hub can track the carbon costs of transport at consignment level. By understanding the true environmental costs involved, users will be able to compare and assess different transport options to make better informed choices.
The project will also develop a demonstration application that will use the information required for carbon tracking to show how a data centric open architecture can deliver new functions.
ERTOC aims to provide information that will drive the following benefits to transport operators, retailers, manufacturers and regulators:
- Transport optimisation through the comparison of the true environmental costs of different modes of surface transport
- Improved process efficiency through the simplified and standardised flow of information between transport users and providers
- Reduction in energy consumption and emissions by providing standardised access to driver behaviour data
- Improved supply chain visibility by providing timely information on the status and location of consignments
Existing tracking systems are not integrated, expensive, closed and provide limited, vehicle centric information. ERTOC’s open standards approach to the delivery of timely information on carbon emissions and costs related to transport will deliver significant benefits to the wider community through reduction in energy consumption, congestion and emissions.
“With many companies today focussed on improving their supply chain efficiency to reduce carbon footprint and at the same time cut costs, the work of the ERTOC project is timely for transport and logistics operators and their customers. By improving the visibility of goods in the supply chain and providing access to standardised information, the project could drive significant benefits for the transport, logistics and retail sectors,” says David Weatherby, Senior Consultant at GS1 UK.
“Being able to access real data from all transport stages in the finished goods supply chain will enable our clients to make better informed decisions and drive cost and carbon out of their business. Our clients are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of their supply chains and need much better information about the true environmental costs of product sourcing decisions. We expect ERTOC to provide a significant step forward by delivering accurate data to replace the estimates and proxy data on which current analysis depends,” Richard Bruges, Head of Innovation at Unipart Logistics.
“The key element of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) is data and how this is used to improve systems. The increasing availability of data from telematics, infrastructure and web based systems warrants a new approach in data management, provision and sharing that supports the development and supply of new systems and services,” says Tom Robinson, Project Director at Ricardo.