BE LOGIC - Best Practices in Logistics

BE LOGIC - Best Practices in Logistics


J Gille, R S Ossevoort, J Bozuwa, ECORYS Nederland BV, NL


This paper presents the results of the FP7 funded project BE LOGIC, in which benchmarks are being conducted between intermodal terminals in Europe.


This paper presents the results of the FP7 funded project BE LOGIC, in which benchmarks are being conducted between intermodal terminals in Europe. The project also delivers benchmarks on transport chains and policies.

Efficient use of transport modes and resources requires understanding the options and alternatives and being able to make the right logistics choices. Knowing the options and alternatives is therefore the key to efficient and effective transport planning.
While large companies may have their own experts in-house to assess the transport options and select optimal logistics alternatives, we know that small and medium enterprises (SME) may lack this expertise. The logistics process is complex, and SMEs, with limited resources and equipment may focus on the maximum involvement of their equipment instead of looking for potentially attractive alternatives.
In our opinion, the major improvement potential in logistics performance is thus in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including shippers with relatively small transport volumes.

Why then a benchmark? A benchmark of logistics chains can give SMEs insight into the potential gains of reconsidering their logistics choices in terms of:
 þ Costs and performance: what cost savings are associated to alternative choices, and what will be the performance in terms of reliability, transit time, operational indicators, etc.?
 þ Environment: how can other choices, including co-modality, contribute to sustainable company activities?
Furthermore, in the longer term, benchmarking can contribute to the introduction of a common quality label.
While the first two terms have a short term focus (¡¥what¡¦s in it for the company directly?¡¦), the latter is considered to be relevant in the longer term, e.g. when a quality label has been introduced and its value has become clear to clients and suppliers.

The approach of BE LOGIC has both a micro and a macro involvement:
 þ Micro, looking at the performance of both transport chains and terminals:
 þ Transport chains: by benchmarking transport chains we are able to compare the costs, performance (quality) and the environmental impact of alternative transport chain solutions, e.g. road only versus road ¡V rail ¡V road.
 þ Terminals are important nodes in the logistic chain and are often considered bottlenecks. Benchmarking terminals can give insight in their relative performance and help to learn from successful colleagues in the market. The aim is to contribute to an improvement of the performance of the entire chain.
 þ Macro, looking at the policy perspective and what can be learned from other countries? What kind of policies to support co-modality do they have? Are there any barriers in legislation hindering the use of co-modality?

As indicated above, in this article we will focus on the benchmarking of terminals throughout Europe.

The set-up of our article will be as follows:
1. Introduction and objectives of the project
2. Methodological framework
3. Benchmarking results of individual terminals
4. Lessons learnt
5. Policy recommendations and operational recommendations


Association for European Transport