'Operation Stack' HGVs waiting at Dover, by Barry Davis
'Operation Stack' HGVs waiting at Dover, by Barry Davis

An EU-backed project to optimise freight clusters in European transport systems could ultimately benefit from the complex coordination capabilities of fourth-party logistics providers (4PLs).

The scheme, dubbed Clusters 2.0, launched last year and is due to run until 2020 – part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme of environmentally driven research – with nearly €6 million of EU contributions in its €6.3 million total budget.

A consortium of 29 partners are contributing to the project, with representatives from ten European countries and Switzerland – an indication of the scale and complexity of the challenge.

“Clusters 2.0 will provide a toolbox for future logistics including large-scale IT applications establishing and facilitating collaboration within and across logistics clusters,” the European Commission’s description of the project states.

“Compared to previous approaches, Clusters 2.0 will advance by adding elements of horizontal collaboration, modularisation and standardisation of loading units to the concept of logistics clusters.”

In a recently published newsletter – the first from the project – Clusters 2.0 coordinator Marcel Huschebeck added that the initiative aims to enhance collaborative logistics not only in supply chains, but within and across logistics clusters as well.

This richer tapestry of collaboration is likely to demand coordination not just of multiple logistics services providers, but also of different 3PLs providing services to the same and adjacent clusters – a task 4PL is ideally suited for.

Future-proofing logistics with 4PL

The flexibility and adaptability of 4PL is crucial to accommodate the ever-changing nature of global logistics, whether it’s on a worldwide or national scale, or within a single cluster or supply chain.

As the complexity continues to rise, 4PLs like 3T Logistics play an ever more important role in coordinating not just individual freight forwarders and shipping companies, but also the 3PLs who coordinate them.

Larger global supply chain networks pose the biggest challenges but can also offer the biggest gains when they are optimised and work efficiently – something 3T Logistics is able to do with our technology-driven approach to coordinating all of your supply chain activities in the most effective way.

To find out more, fill in our online enquiry form or contact us today on 0116 2824 111 to speak to one of our advisors about how our technology can help you to future-proof your logistics operations.

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