International cooperation vital to realise truck platooning

January 19, 2016 243 keer bekeken

‘In the Port of Rotterdam we are always on the lookout for smart solutions to ensure logistic processes and where possible to improve them. Truck platooning could well be such a smart solution.’

Bob Dodemont, project leader smart mobility at the Port of Rotterdam, is very definite on this. ‘For some time now we have been involved in a cooperative alliance with parties including TNO, DAF Trucks, TNL (Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics) and the ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to develop truck platooning. The Port Authority likes to keep ahead with innovation and invests substantially in applied knowledge development with research bodies and universities. That way we can keep ahead as a world class port and justify our slogan: ‘Make it happen’. But obviously, we can’t go it alone here in the Netherlands. Truck platooning demands an international joint effort involving governmentals, truck manufacturers, road authorities and a whole range of additional stakeholders. The Challenge is a great opportunity and a first test to demonstrate successful European cooperation; a springboard on the road to the further detailing of truck platooning.’

Deployment

There are several key aspects here, like technology. ‘But this isn’t our focus’, says Dodemont. ‘Deployment is the main thing. By this I mean that the shippers, transhippers, and transport companies involved with the port, will soon inbed truck platooning in their logistic processes.’

Benefits to society

Dodemont reckons that truck platooning will benefit port users. ‘For example, there is fuel efficiency. But there are also societal pluspoints. So truck platooning can make a positive contribution to a range of issues around sustainability, to the environment and more efficient use of infrastructure capacity.’

Roadmap

‘As far as I’m concerned the outcome of the Challenge will be a roadmap, which sets out the route for coming years. I also hope that after 6 April we realise just how much has to be done. We need each other in Europe and it’s important to reach meaningful agreements about who does what and how we can provide mutual support. Self-evidently this underlines the importance of the 14 April gathering of European transport ministers on smart mobility as a vital opportunity to also give the political community a position and a role.’

Facilitate and stimulate

After the Challenge the Port of Rotterdam will take a hands-on approach to truck platooning. Dodemont: ‘Learning by doing also applies to us. It’s the traditional Rotterdam mentality. We want to marry-up all the important stakeholders – logistics services providers, governmentals, truck manufacturers -  while playing a facilitating and stimulating role on the level of practical testing and try-outs, and above all showing what can be done. Once you’ve scored a success, the rest should follow almost automatically.’

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