The FENIX Network consortium gathered last week for the General Assembly and Technical Workshop in Brussels, where representatives of the eleven FENIX pilot site locations reported on user case scenarios of the FENIX platform in road, rail and sea transport scenarios. 


Pilot site representatives reported their findings during the cross-site testing, data collection and evaluation phase of the project, in which they tested the FENIX Connector in real time to determine the benefits to route planning, multi- and intermodal transport, port operations and access, customs operations, and dangerous goods control and entry authorization.


Because the platform requires data sharing and data security, T-Systems International also reported on the status and functionality of the platform architecture design, and GS1’s work to improve standardization and interoperability led to an explanation around Global Location Numbers (GLNs) as a service to improve efficiency at delivery points.  Technical dimensions, standards and procedures, and a data governance framework have all helped the site locations determine the best process to test their pilot site and its interaction and possible connectivity with other sites.


Partners in the shipping industry flagged areas of interest such as cargo optimization, infrastructure sharing in the EU supply chain and logistics arena, e-CMR testing, and digital document exchange that can be accomplished with a federated platform like FENX.


“FENIX Federation network of platforms represents a game changer in freight transport and logistics, and it will support the substantial growth and diversification of flows and connected data, especially related to eCommerce, IoT applications, and emerging technologies,” said Dr. Eusebiu Catana, FENIX Project Coordinator at ERTICO.


“This growth increases the already high demand for more sustainable and multimodal transport, and in turn this will demand data interoperability and harmonisation, as well as technical solutions to share data between heterogeneous IT systems over many stakeholders involved in European and global transport & logistics networks.”


AirCargo Belgium reported on how they are testing four user case scenarios including reserve time slots to deliver or pick up; real-time vehicle tracking; capacity-management for ground handling agents to optimize reserve slots and to avoid peak times; and elimination of waiting times for trucking companies.


Dominik Furste from Rail Flow, one of the newest members of the FENIX Network consortium, gave an overview of rail freight transport, beginning with past inefficiencies, but more importantly ending with the distinct advantages of rail freight, including nine times less CO2 emissions and six times less energy consumption than other transport choices.


Most of the pilot sites are testing inter-modal user cases. For example, the Rhine-Alpine pilot site utilizes the Rhine-Alpine TEN-T corridor to test multi-modal freight scenarios, inter-modal railway scenarios, mode-free capacity planning, and an end-to-end intermodal corridor data hub.  Consortium member Indra, which leads the Spanish – Atlantic Corridor pilot site located at the Port of Bilbao, is testing seven use cases involving cargo to rail transport.


FENIX consortium members, who are charged with creating a viable and valid federative network of platforms that enables Business to Administration (B2A) and Business to Business (B2B) data exchange and sharing by transport and logistics operators, are poised to exploit their technical discoveries.


Regarding next steps for the Network of platforms, Dr. Catana had this to say.  “FENIX 2.0 represents the future of the new business world to ‘digitally’ go in transport and logistics where no one has gone before, and to achieve the deployment of interoperable cross-border corridor services.”