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Govt to adopt resolution on freight logistics development

Published : 03 Feb 2018, 01:13

Updated : 03 Feb 2018, 01:17

  DF Report
Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner. Photo Finnish parliament by Kimmo Brandt.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications, together with stakeholders, is preparing a government resolution on the development of freight logistics.

The Ministry has sent the draft plan for comments, which must be submitted by 28 February 2018, said an official press release

“As other sectors of society, logistics will also undergo transformation in the near future. At present, digitalisation is still a competitive edge for companies in the sector, but fairly soon the question will be which companies are going to grow and develop and which will wither. The purpose of the plan is to strengthen the digitalisation of logistics, the transport sector and ports,” said Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.

By 2025, the business models developed in Finland will also be used internationally. The digitalisation of logistics has reduced environmental hazards, has cut transport costs and has increased business productivity. In order to achieve these visions, the development plan sets out four practical objectives.

First, a network of decentralised, compatible systems needs to be created for distributing logistics information. The information must be in digital, machine-readable, compatible form and it must be distributable in real time and automatically within and between transport chains. Since systems communicate with each other, it is enough to save logistics information in one system only.

Second, the operability of local logistics must be improved. Societies where products and services are available round the clock need corresponding distribution logistics. This also has an impact on transport chains more widely. E-commerce has already transformed the focus of distribution structures from shops to consumers and local distribution.

Third, resources must be allocated for developing intelligent automation in logistics. Automation has an impact on logistics at several points, for instance as increasing automation in the various phases of transport chains. In ports, containers are already moved by automated container cranes. Manual labour is no longer needed for moving parcels. This trend must also be promoted in the automation of heavy freight transport, for instance, by testing truck platooning.

The fourth key objective is to promote the digitalisation of ports. Automation development is rapid across the globe. Finland has companies that are world leaders in the development and supply of port automation. This expertise, as well as the potential for testing remote-controlled ships, could be utilised internationally for advancing port digitalisation.

To achieve these objectives, approximately thirty measures are proposed, including electronic consignment notes, location tracking for professional transport, sharing of logistics information, standardisation of information, and experiments and pilot projects on the automation of transport chains.

Achieving the objectives and implementation of the measures require the removal of barriers in legislation, cooperation projects, influencing attitudes, and advocacy in the EU and international organisations.

Following the round for comments, the logistics network will continue to prepare the resolution in an open workshop in early March.