Logistics can be defined as efficient and cost-effective managerial decisions related to the design, planning and control of the supply chain processes. Smart Logistics approaches this in a smart way, which means that planning and scheduling, ICT infrastructure, people and governmental policymaking need to be efficiently and effectively aligned. Smart Logistics equals 3P+I (i.e. Planning, People, Policy and Infrastructure), and is the synchronized interplay of these four key domains.
A number of ongoing economic, societal and environmental developments indicate a challenging future and therefore the importance of Smart Logistics. The transport industry represents an important part of the economy, since it accounts for about 5% of the GDP within the EU. EU projections show a growth of 25% between 2010 and 2030 for freight transport by road, rail and water combined. Furthermore urbanization takes place at high pace. Cities are challenged by this growth and need to control good flows within urban areas to reduce the adverse impact on living conditions (congestion, pollution, etc.).
The Transportation Chain consists of three parts: the Pickup Chain (or the first mile), the Transit Chain and the Delivery Chain (or the last mile). The Lab’s research in Smart Logistics is completely embedded in the Transportation Chain, working on topics related to separate parts of the chain, and on the integration of the separate parts.
The challenges in the Transportation Chain are to efficiently handle increased uncertainty and high complexity. This is important since the real-life world does not fit into a deterministic and static straitjacket, which is assumed by so many published models and industry tools. Any decision, action, plan or schedule built on unrealistic assumptions is bound to be less than optimal once realized. This is a key starting point in all our research. Important new research areas emerge with a focus on the ability to adequately represent real-life environments. Efficiently coping with these rich models is an important and challenging problem both in real-life and academic environments. This research outline builds extensively on the vast and sound foundations of academic literature and industrial experience.
Companies are our laboratories and are key to the success of this Lab. Specifically, ongoing long-term research and project work takes place at Eyefreight, Nabuurs, Kuehne+Nagel, Brabant Intermodal, Connexxion, FloraHolland, Lekkerland, VGB, Bausch and Lomb, TomTom and many more. The Smart Logistics Lab was involved in securing over 5 million in grants (including Dinalog, Transumo, NWO and company gifts). Of this amount, over 1 million euro was allocated to the TU/e, mainly to hire PhD students.
For more information about the smart logistics lab visit our lab website.
Our lab is involved in a number of (in-company) graduation projects of Bachelor and Master students. Some interesting, recently performed projects are:
Currently our lab is involved in the following (joint) research & development projects. These projects are usually conducted in collaboration with other universities and companies. Contact our us if you are interested in teaming up for a new project proposal.