The EU-funded ePIcenter project, featuring a consortium of ports, forwarders, logistics providers and technology firms, has been officially launched, with the goal of streamlining global trade and promoting synchro-modal operations through the application of Industry 4.0 technologies and transport innovations such as Hyperloop and autonomous vehicles.
The consortium includes 36 partners from different stakeholder sectors, coordinated by the Port of Antwerp. The project is funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme and has a timeframe of 42 months.
ePIcenter aims to create systems that can have a tangible impact on building effective and sustainable logistics chains, and will run a number of large scale demonstrators on the main shipping routes from Europe to Canada and the US, as well as new trade routes such as the Northern Sea Route and the new Silk Road routes, to test new ideas.
The Port of Antwerp will host one of these demonstrators, to be named ‘Link of the Future’, implementing various ePIcenter innovations as they are developed to see how they can integrate with real world operations at one of Europe’s largest multimodal transport hubs.
“We are very enthusiastic about kicking off the ePIcenter project, which will allow us to create a transcontinental, integrated and transparent freight corridor by leveraging existing and promising technologies, frameworks and data standards,” said Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Port of Antwerp.
“Port of Antwerp and Port of Montreal, both important nodes in the global supply chain, will act as catalysts for symbiosis amongst the different stakeholders.”