This ‘Next Level Meeting’ was held in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, with the organisation inspired by the words of Steve Jobs:
‘The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do!’
In April 2016 Rotterdam will be the destination for all truck platoons driving from various parts of Europe.
Inspection landing site
On Monday 30 November some of the group viewed the arrival point to gain a shared picture of opportunities around the planned landing of the platoons, currently planned for 6 April 2016, at 2 pm. The delegation then drove the last 23 kilometres along the route that will be taken by the trucks. This was followed by a boat trip, whereby the Port of Rotterdam and the landing point at the APM Terminal could be viewed from the water. Self-evidently there was also a tour or the actual APM Terminal, the world’s most innovative and highly automated terminal.
That same evening at the network dinner at Hotel New York, Henk van der Wal of Van der Wal Transport said that logistics services providers have a crucial role in breaking through existing patterns – transportation still being designated as a cost item. What will certainly help here is to have customers like Unilever, with a clear long-term vision on sustainable logistic concepts. To this end the Netherlands will be looking to see in how far logistics services providers can be tempted into a meaningful contribution.
On Tuesday 1 December this was followed by a working conference on the 17th floor of the Port of Rotterdam office building. Delegates worked intensively to further detail the organisation of the Challenge. The conference was hosted by Richard van der Eijk, head of Communications and External Affairs Port of Rotterdam. In his welcome statement he expressed positive expectations. “The Port of Rotterdam is pleased to be a partner in this Challenge – a fine challenge. It might well be logical to work together, but it is not always obvious! Innovation requires guts, entrepreneurship and thinking out-of-the-box. “All the same I am convinced that with a shared goal, combined energy, open communications, determination and enthusiasm one can achieve a lot. The 6 April Challenge will be a start sign to position a robustly embedded European cooperation”, according to Van der Eijk.
During the morning, plenary session we were updated by experts from the Challenge team on a range of topics: exemption procedures, corridors to drive, communications, mid- and long term perspectives and the Invitational Conference (14 April). The afternoon programme involved two workshops with participants considering the further detailing of Routes to Drive and Communications. Following a wrap up of the workshops and a short briefing on the collection of Scientific Information during the Challenge, chair-of-the-day Dirk-Jan de Bruijn closed with a round-up of personal evaluations. Reactions were overwhelmingly positive – and realistic:
‘There’s a lot of problems ahead, but... we are making the future today!’
Next Level Meeting: 3 February in Brussels
Read more -> Report Next Level Meeting, 30/11-1/12 in Rotterdam
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