In the first months of the project, the LOGISTAR partners were working on the identification of end user needs and system requirements to ensure that LOGISTAR develops tools that are necessary and will be used by logistics companies.

Over a period of four months between August and November 2018, 21 interviews with companies from a range of industry sectors in five different countries were conducted. They represented retailers, manufacturers, logistics service providers and a rail freight terminal operator.

The outcomes from these discussions identified not only how the current supply chain operations are conducted, but also identified weaknesses in the current systems.

The information collected during the interviews was then collated and a coherent list of user needs and system requirements was produced. The list will now serve as the basis for further project work and the development of the LOGISTAR services. Main functions required for the LOGISTAR system cover the prediction of orders and travel time using historic data and external public and open source data. These will be used in the global optimisation element which will produce a range of routes to maximise vehicle fill and minimise the empty running of vehicles, taking advantage of any synchromodal rail opportunity. Routes involving collaborative partners will go through a negotiation process involving automatic plan generation software.

The analysis of the current literature related to predictions for logistics networks, global optimization methods applied to logistics, re-optimization and automated negotiation algorithms has finished. Technical partners have been able to define the nature of the artificial intelligence and optimization techniques that will be developed to address the challenges posed by LOGISTAR.

Immediate steps for LOGISTAR Consortium include finishing the data collection activities covering the identification, specification and processing of every data source requested for implementing the system requirements identified and the definition of the three Living Labs where the solution will be piloted.

LOGISTAR will count with an external panel of entities formed by relevant organizations who will actively collaborate in the use cases providing external and independent feedback on the project progress and results. They will be updated on the activities of the project and invited to participate in project events. If you are interested in joining our users board, contact us!