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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

FREIGHTWISE, one of the most important European transport research projects held its second annual international conference in Prague, Czech Republic on 1 –2 December 2008. John Berry from the Directorate General Transport and Energy (DG TREN) gave the introductory key note speech detailing the EU priorities in ICT and freight within the Logistics Action Plan.

The conference presented the progress of the project. The most significant development is a breakthrough in the analysis of intermodal freight transport. This showed that the complex nature of booking freight services can be reduced to just four roles and six messages. The roles and messages form a framework which has been named the “Freightwise Framework (FWF)”.

This simplification has huge implications for the management of intermodal freight. Jan-Tore Pedersen of BMT Group Ltd (BMT), the consortium leader, said: “The implementation of the FWF means that the evolution of intermodal transport is progressing to a stage that is revolutionary. I am convinced this is the way forward for intermodal freight management”.

The audience of 80 experts in transport IT, commercial and policy organisations completed a survey during the conference. One of the main results was that the audience was in favour of the European Commission (EC) taking a lead on making FWF a standard tool for use in managing intermodal transport.

The FREIGHTWISE Framework (FWF) identified the four roles in intermodal transport as: Transport Service Provider, the Transport User, the Transportation Network Manager and the Transport Regulator. The roles can be adopted either by four different persons, companies or authorities or two or more roles by the same person in the same company or authority.

The Freightwise Framework utilises six messages: Transport Service Description (TSD), Transport Execution Plan (TEP), Transport Execution Status (TES), Transport Item Status (TIS), Transport Operation Status (TOS) and Network and Traffic Status (NTS). All the information that is necessary to publish, advertise, plan, book, execute and invoice an intermodal transport service is within these messages.

The audience challenged the notion that just six messages would be able to manage all the information that is currently dispersed over dozens of messages. This challenge was answered by technical and commercial experts. The conference concluded that intermodal transport messaging could be streamlined to this extent.

More information about the FREIGHTWISE project can be found at:

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