The Freight Share Lab is a research project investigating how co-mobility solutions can reduce the number of empty or part-laden fleet vehicles in use and improve supply chain management.
It is part-funded by the British government through Innovate UK and will run from 2018 to 2020.
The Freight Share Lab aims to develop a digital capable of amassing and storing data on loads and vehicles – sharing knowledge between fleet operators on their loads/assets and optimising vehicle-use. This platform aims to drive operational efficiency; reduce wasted vehicle miles; cut carbon emissions; and improve driver safety.
The Freight Share Lab will produce a digital platform will be based on the demand-response (DR) operational model. This will be developed using real-world data and stakeholder input, will inform the development of the platform – alongside the latest routing and optimisation algorithms.
These will assess the tasks and requirements of each delivery, analysing the logistical factors involved (e.g. compatibility of goods) and assigning tasks to a vehicle. Maximising operational use and reducing the risk of empty and/or part-laden vehicles on the road.
The Freight Share Lab platform will require input from a wide-range of real-world data from carriers and shippers to ensure the trials are informative and effective. But this must be kept confidential and secure, accessible only to the appropriate audience when the system is in use.
Future operators will be able to interact with the platform through various channels, via a cloud-based system. The platform will divide users based on their needs (e.g. shippers and carriers) and present the data relevant data to each user group in an accessible format.
Supply and demand: Shipping organisations will be able to sign-up to the service and upload their shipping requirements to be matched with the most appropriate fleet and vehicle. They will need to specify whether they are transporting goods individually or in bulk.
Vehicle supply: Fleet operations that sign-up to the service will need to record their vehicle capacity; shipments can then be assigned to trucks and vans, ensuring optimum utilization and ensuring that vehicle loads meet the weight and size restrictions and deliveries can meet their deadlines.
Large fleets: Will have the opportunity to automatically upload telematics data and information on the assets within, or use a manual process.
Third-party optimisation engines: Will be capable of enhancing the services supplied by connecting their optimisation engines via a web service.