Global as well as regional and local freight transport is massively changing due to accelerating technological changes, the establishment of new players in global trade, the rise of protectionism, and the slowing down of economic growth of important partners such as China. New logistics concepts (such as the Physical Internet) and new disruptive technologies, such as Blockchain, Industry 4.0, vehicle automation and truck platooning or new business models, like 'crowdshipping' and the circular economy models will have an impact on global freight transport, its optimisation and its environmental footprint that needs to be better understood and assessed. Furthermore new trade routes from and to Europe will probably change the traditional pattern of freight movement and will need new connections with European corridors and hubs at a time of budget limitation on investment for transport infrastructure.
Sustainable integrated multimodal freight transport is particularly important for the development of countries in special situations – least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island states and outermost regions - which face common problems resulting from the under-resourcing of transport infrastructure and services, traffic-related air pollution and high accident levels, but also diverse geopolitical and trade situations. These countries/regions also have an enormous potential for sustainable development. International cooperation can support their economies both domestically and globally for a global benefit and ensuring better integration of these regions into the world economic landscape.Scope:
Proposals should address one or more of the following aspects:
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 7 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation, international cooperation is encouraged. In particular proposals should consider cooperation with projects or partners from the US, Japan, Canada, China, Latin America.
In particular, proposals should foresee twinning with entities participating in projects funded by US DOT to exchange knowledge and experience and exploit synergies.Expected Impact:
Main impact from the R&I activities should be the improved integration of the European transport network (both hard – TEN-T – and soft – logistics and IT) with the global network, through the sustainable development of the transport nodes likely to benefit from the emergence of new trade routes and harmonised platforms and new and revised 'nodes', also in support of the sustainable development of new logistics routes and their link with national/regional markets. Better understanding of the impact of emerging technologies on freight flow and subsequent guidelines to optimize vehicle, infrastructure and operation accordingly. Facilitate the development of disadvantaged regions and their inclusion into the international trading system. Better understanding of links between technological development, trade and geopolitics. Research should be validated in a selected number of case studies through pilot demonstration, trials and testing involving service providers and end-users.Cross-cutting Priorities: