From the roadmapping approach taken on the Logistics for Life Project it became clear that a limited number of key ICT-related issues have to be addressed for the fulfilment of the objectives in the long-term vision for logistics sustainability.
An overview of the roadmap is given in the figure below, where the different challenges are represented by horizontal arrows of three different colours, representing the main types of actions foreseen for each challenge: respectively, R&D, pilots development and actions to support market innovation.
In the areas of semantic standards and environmental data exchange research results are expected to be available relatively early, in 2013 and 2014, based on developments currently in progress and standardisation frameworks already in place. Also by 2014 a more favourable environment to ICT innovations should be established, through actions supporting adoption by transport SMEs, agreement on concepts and services definitions, and validated cooperative systems infrastructures.
These are prerequisites to develop by 2016 more advanced logistics concepts, like multi-actor and multi-criteria planning, automated monitoring of the supply chain, interoperability of freight and traffic management. In parallel, developments in the “internet of things and services” will make available federated open platforms for services publishing, discovery and delivery, supporting a business ecosystem of freight information services.
The development of technology standards will proceed in parallel, aiming at harmonization of European and global communication and device standards into a common ITS architecture for the logistics sector. The time foreseen for R&D activities in this area is rather long compared to the other challenges, considering that the efforts are necessarily diluted over time due to the need to coordinate different standardisation bodies and on-going initiatives at a global level.