During the International Conference on Computational Logistics 2015, in Delft, The Netherlands, Prof. Cathy Macharis gave a keynote on how big data can make logistics more sustainable.
A cartoon made during the presentations visualises the message quite well: if we want to make city distribution more sustainable, several solutions exist which we can categorize under 5 A’s. Awareness: we should have better tools to make policy makers, companies and consumers more aware of the external costs. Big data could help to get real-time information on this. We can Avoid unnecessary transport miles. If we would have a good idea on all the data of the transport flows we can bundle them and avoid empty or half empty driving. We can Act and shift towards more environmentally friendly modes of transport like barge, rail and cargo bikes. With real-time data synchro modal transport becomes possible. We can also Anticipate new technologies, like using electric or hybrid vehicles in the logistic chain.A fifth A is necessary to make it all possible in practice and to ease implementation and that is Actor Involvement. For this all actors should be taken into account. Big data analytics can enable us to get a better view of their aims and priorities and achieve real participation.
Pictures of prof. Cathy Macharis’ keynote on the conference: