3PL Summit Day One – Horizontal Collaboration

At the first day of the 3PL Summit the attendees of one of the workshops were confronted with a logistics issue right at the start of the conference. Jacqui Crawford, Deal Works CEO, who would be hosting the workshop on 3PL Contract Negotiations was stuck in London with a cancelled flight due to fog.

Sven Verstrepen of TRI-VIZOR was kind enough to step in and give attendees a sneak preview of the presentation he is scheduled to present on the Summit this Wednesday.

Sven talked about Collaborative Concepts for Co-modality. How can companies in Europe become more sustainable, effective, and efficient? Work together when shipping goods! 3PL’s and freight forwarders are trying to combine loads and increase the efficiency of Europe’s transportation system, but so far with limited success. Shippers are returning to road transportation in stead of using a multi-modal approach. According to Sven this lack of sustainability is caused by the price for road transportation being far too low to reflect external cost. With fuel prices forever on the rise and and a future shortage of truck drivers, road prices are bound to rise as well. 

Another reason for the lack of efficiency in the European transport system is the fact the large companies are legally not allowed to work together even when the collaboration is focused on sustainability: European anti trust laws are blocking this. Some time before 2014 these legal principles will be updated to enable horizontal collaboration between shippers, to make the European Logistics System more efficient and sustainable.

The CO3 Project is about creating an operational and a legal framework for Horizontal Collaboration and develop appropriate business models. All research findings, tools, and models will be made freely available on the internet and through conferences for everyone to use.

CO3 collects information on freight flows from companies in Europe and uses that information to build a secure database (pricing information not included). The database is used to compare networks of freight flows to identify potential partners, creating synergies for both.

The CO3 Project is currently looking for companies that are willing to participate in test cases. The 4 case types:

1. Road bundling between 2 or more shippers.

2. Intermodal bundling between more than 2 shippers.

3. Collaborative retail distribution (last mile).

4. Value Added Logistics clusters / Freight Villages. 

Sven concluded his lecture with a great example of two Czech companies that are now collaborating on transportation. One company was transporting light plastic materials (full trucks: high volume, low weight) and one company was transporting metal materials (full trucks: low volume, high weight). Co-loading tests have been successful  Net cost reduction -10%; carbon footprint reduction -30%. 

Find out more about the CO3 Project here

On a closing note I would like to thank the kind people of the Hilton Hotel Antwerp, for granting me access to their wifi.

NEXT BLOG POST – And the winners of the annual EyeforTransport Europe 3PL Awards are…

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