WMU Explores Potential of Synchromodality to Transform Freight Logistics

A pre-study report entitled Synchromodality as a Prospective Digitalization Scheme for Freight Logistics was released by the World Maritime University (WMU) on 23 August. The study explores the potential of digital technologies and synchromodality to transform the freight logistics industry by streamlining information flow, increasing the flexibility of transportation routes, and creating a more effective and efficient freight logistics system. In an effort to gain a comprehensive understanding of the industry’s needs/challenges and to formulate a proficient policy framework in response, the study focuses on the concept of synchromodality which involves the harmonization of different freight logistics modalities.

Establishing a working definition of synchromodality within the context of freight logistics, the study utilizes a Synchromodality Maturity Model to evaluate the digitalization progress of stakeholders in the industry. This assessment is supported by case investigations into Roll-on/Roll-off logistics in Sweden.

Working Definition: Synchromodality is an operational concept applicable to freight logistics for the purpose of adding value to customers by organizing and utilizing resources in an effective and efficient way, that can be achieved through facilitating integration amongst stakeholders along the logistics chain and enhancing their operational visibility and flexibility.

Noteworthy outcomes of the pre-study include implications for both policy formulation and industrial implementation. The study advocates that policymakers allocate considerable resources to invest in digital infrastructure and establish standardized data protocols to foster collaborative partnerships. In addition, recommendations are included for logistics service providers regarding pivoting their strategies on generating customer value, nurturing collaborative ecosystems, and enhancing human capital in the context of data-centric methodologies.

The pre-study report presents synchromodality as a way to increase operational efficiency through optimal utilization of transportation resources, improving environmental sustainability, and enhancing customer satisfaction. Proposed future areas to explore regarding synchromodality in practice include:

·   Enhancing digital infrastructure for greater freight logistics services

·   Striving for seamless integration of all stakeholders in freight logistics chains

·   Facilitating technology adoption in the freight logistics network

The project was funded by Sweden’s Trafikverket, also known as the Swedish Transport Administration (STA), and was supported by various logistics companies, shippers, and academic organizations. To learn more and access the full pre-study report, click here. 

The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is established within the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The mission of WMU is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. WMU’s vision is to inspire leadership and innovation for a sustainable maritime and oceans future. WMU is an organization by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Trafikverket, also known as the Swedish Transport Administration (STA), is the Swedish administrative authority responsible for planning, developing, and maintaining the nation’s transportation infrastructure encompassing road, rail, maritime, and aviation domains. Serving as a significant repository of transportation expertise, STA collaborates with a wide array of stakeholders, including governmental bodies, local administrations, private enterprises, and the general public. This collaborative approach empowers STA to steer transportation initiatives in alignment with overarching societal goals.

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