This project covers the development and integration of the following aspects:
The project will work out the innovative concept of a ‘less than wagon load’ transport solution. This concept will use the existing and standard pallets on the market, but adapt the logistical chain so that the first and last mile can be done by truck or rail, but the long haul will be transported by rail in a competitive way.
The consortium will work out an automated wagon loading and unloading system for pallets, inspired by automated truck loading systems. Currently, pallets are manually put in a pallet wagon by using a forklift. Automating this handling will be necessary to minimise the additional loading and unloading costs from truck to rail to make the ‘less than wagon load’ offer competitive.
The project will identify and assess new and innovative added-value rail services for the chemical industry. Services that will be assessed are grouped under: multi-modal freight village with cross docking warehouse for pallets, specialised parking, repair and picking services for chemical wagons, advanced cleaning services for chemical wagons, trucks and tank containers and improved rail connections by combining conventional and intermodal freight volumes.
For each of the proposed new services the potential market will be assessed and a detailed business case will be built to demonstrate the potential return for each stakeholder involved. To realise these new services different parties (investors, operators, customers, local authorities, etc) will be required. The consortium will work out creative governance models and financing schemes for the most promising new services.
Given that the proposed optimised logistics cluster will drive the modal shift from road to rail, there will be an important decrease of the carbon footprint of the Antwerp Chemical Logistics Cluster. The consortium will assess the potential environmental impact.