The project resulted in the development of the first of a kind “OFT” platform that has the potential to play a unique role in facilitating optimisation and collaboration in international freight routes. It contains a unique repository of logistics services (including routes, times, emissions and indicative costs), freight infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, etc) and forecasted demand for logistics routes and services. It has the ability to recommend optimised freight transport routes on a tactical level, identify collaboration opportunities between shippers, and identify and analyse demand for additional logistics services or infrastructure to be developed.
We used this platform to analyse scenarios specifically relating to the Liverpool-Humber corridor, but the platform was developed as a universal model that can be applied to other regions and routes. The intention is for the logistics service and infrastructure data in the database to be geographically expanded over time.
We envisage that OFT will be commercialised to be used internationally by shippers, logistics providers and infrastructure stakeholders to gain deeper understanding of optimised freight movement routes and the optimal structuring and sizing of logistics services and infrastructure. In the short term we will encourage more large, medium and small shippers to enter their freight movement forecasts in OFT, analyse optimal routing and find collaboration opportunities.
Several reports and white-papers were generated as a result of the project. These covered, among others,
- Comparison of North-South and East-West Intermodal Rail Options
- Analysis of existing logistics service capacity connecting the UK and Europe
- Forecasted demand for freight logistics services on the Liverpool-Humber corridor
- Opportunities for intermodal rail freight between North West England and the Humber Ports
During the project a trial was done for a multi-modal train connecting Immingham and the Kraft-Heinz facility at Wigan, which will lead to a significant modal shift of Humber-Liverpool freight traffic from road to rail.