TRA 2024

In April 2024, Dublin will host the 10th biennial Transport Research Arena (TRA) Conference, offering a vibrant platform for mobility professionals to exchange insights, gain inspiration, and stay abreast of advancements in transport. This premier European conference brings together academics, policymakers, industry leaders, and stakeholders for four days of dynamic discussions, presentations, and networking opportunities.

Expect an array of enlightening discussions at #TRA2024, addressing key mobility challenges and showcasing innovative solutions. Expert speakers will delve into four central themes: Safe & Inclusive Transport, Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods, Efficient & Resilient Systems, and Collaborative Digitalization.

Attendance at TRA Conferences typically draws a diverse crowd from across Europe and beyond, with anticipated participation of up to 3,000 attendees from 60 countries, offering over 100 sessions to engage with.

For further details, access the full TRA 2024 Programme here.

Discover DISCO at TRA2024!

DISCO will be featured in two sessions alongside other urban logistics projects, represented by several of our partners:

Special Session 2.3 Innovation in Urban Logistics: Public and Private Sectors Thriving Together

Date: Tuesday, 16 April

Time: 9:45am – 11:am CEST

Location: Hall 8A-3 (Simmonscourt)

This session aims to share lessons learned in urban logistics from EU-funded R&I projects and create a common vision for the use of innovative solutions in zero-emission urban freight transport. The session will feature projects in which city authorities, logistics service providers, and innovation developers are engaged to implement living labs that enable businesses and cities to thrive together. Moreover, it will highlight some of the leading innovative solutions for efficient and sustainable urban freight transport, such as digital twins, Physical Internet, and zero-emission vehicles.

DISCO will be represented by our partners who are featured as panellists:

Poster Session 3.4 Logistics and Sustainable Transport

Date: Tuesday, 16 April

Time: 2;30pm – 3:45pm CEST

Location: Hall 8C – Poster Area Simmonscourt, Stage 4

Our Project Manager Paola Astegiano (FIT Consulting) will participate in this session with a poster on DISCO, sharing an introductory presentation on our project.

Plus, make sure to find DISCO at our partner ALICE’s Innovation Village! The stand will be located close to the European Commission’s stand, ERTRAC’s, CCAM’s & other Partners –  Take a look at the venue Floor Plan.

DISCO Starring Living Lab Copenhagen unlocks sustainable logistics with first local Open Day

That’s right! Last week, Copenhagen, one of DISCO’s Starring Living Labs, convened over 50 stakeholders from the urban logistics sector for an exciting event: on 3 April 2024, the City hosted its very first DISCO Open Day, showcasing its mission to collaboratively engineer solutions for urban logistics in Copenhagen and the Capital Region, steering towards a sustainable transport ecosystem.

The spotlight shone on the Digital Twin technology, a pivotal tool showcased by IRT SystemX. Through sophisticated simulations, stakeholders glimpsed potential transformations: shifts in driving patterns, the integration of MicroHubs, and the advent of Off-Hour Deliveries.

These simulations aren’t just visionary; they’re actionable insights driving tangible change. As the day unfolded, discussions delved deep into the logistics landscape, fueled by a shared commitment to sustainability. The collaboration between stakeholders and the embrace of cutting-edge technology underscored a collective dedication to shaping a greener, more efficient future for urban logistics.

Congratulations to the Copenhagen Living Lab team for successfully conducting such an inspiring event! Stay tuned as we reveal more of our Living Labs as they go through their journey towards sustainable urban logistics.

POLIS – ALICE Greening Urban Freight 2024 Webinar Series: Physical Internet Led Urban Logistics

Physical Internet (PI) is a concept for system-thinking of city infrastructures like computing assets that can be provisioned “on-demand” through cloud-like “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS) concepts (Franklin et al., 2023). PI proposes pooling resources and assets in open, connected, synchro-modal and shared networks so that they can be used seamlessly by network users and partners.

In a PI environment, real-time freight data sharing and route optimisations become critical tools for operators, allowing swift response to delays, reducing dwell times, and realizing efficiency benefits. PI advocates for greater policy consistency in data-sharing ecosystems, urging city governments to adopt a collaborative, data-driven approach to policymaking and sustainable planning.

In this webinar on 27 March 2024, you will hear current practices that embrace the concept of Physical Internet to increase efficiency while contributing to the decarbonisation of the sector.

Register here

The webinar is supported by two ongoing EU-funded projects: DISCO and URBANE.

URBANE, or Upscaling Innovative Green Urban Logistics Solutions Through Multi-Actor Collaboration and Physical Internet (PI)-inspired Last Mile Deliveries, is a HORIZON Europe project that supports the transition path towards effective, resilient, safe and sustainable last-mile transport, through four Lighthouse Living Labs (LL) in Helsinki, Bologna, Valladolid and Thessaloniki. This will facilitated by its URBANE Innovation Transferability Platform comprising Digital Twinning Tools, open models, smart contracts governed by blockchain technology and a data-driven Impact Assessment Radar.

Draft Agenda

12:00    Welcome & introduction to the workshop, Paola Cossu, Co-Chair of the ALICE TG on Urban logistics

12:05    The URBANE Living Lab in Bologna, Alice Benini – Project manager at the Institute for Transport and Logistics (ITL)

12:20    Business representative (tbc)

12:35    Open discussion and Q&A from the audience,  Paola Cossu

12:55    Wrap up and next steps, Raffaele Vergnani, Urban Freight Cluster Lead at POLIS

POLIS-ALICE 2024 webinar series

A strategic discussion has been in place between POLIS and ALICE since 2019, which has resulted in a strong and well-recognised alliance between the two organisations over the years. The common vision of this venture is to support each other’s members to accelerate the transition as fast as and as effectively as possible by continuous gathering and sharing of initiatives, and networking activities facilitating collaboration. Both organizations want to be at the forefront of urban transformation, proactively addressing issues with pollution, traffic, safety, and the environment through urban freight and logistics.

Across the series, governance, technology, planning, incentive schemes and more are explored. It is a chance to learn how public-private partnerships are being deployed in novel ways to leverage cutting-edge digital technologies and data-sharing mechanisms. It will also provide an opportunity to hear about new concepts and opportunities between ongoing EU-funded projects and initiatives.

Most of the webinars in this series are reserved exclusively for POLIS and ALICE members, with a select few open to the public.

DISCO Starring Living Lab Thessaloniki holds successful local Open Day event

Exciting news from us at DISCO! On Wednesday, 21 February 2024, our Starring Living Lab Thessaloniki hosted its inaugural local Open Day for the DISCO project, unveiling transformative urban Logistics measures – and it was a resounding success! This marked a significant milestone in our journey towards revolutionizing urban logistics: the event brought together a diverse array of local stakeholders, including representatives from the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Real Estate sector, the Logistics Industry, and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry representing local retail. The meticulously organized event, orchestrated by PLANNING SA, provided an enriching platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Throughout the day, industry representatives revealed the current state of Thessaloniki’s logistics landscape, offering valuable insights. Dr. Georgia Ayfantopoulou and the HIT/CERTH team took centre stage, delving into the dynamic urban logistics measures outlined in DISCO. Their presentation not only showcased the transformative changes these measures will catalyze in Thessaloniki but also underscored the pivotal role of the Physical Internet concept in driving this evolution. Emphasis was placed on the advantages of data sharing in fostering Urban Freight Data Spaces, highlighting the potential for a more interconnected and efficient logistics network.

Following the illuminating presentations, a workshop roundtable fostered discussions and solicited feedback from local stakeholders on various aspects of DISCO’s innovative measures. Key outcomes of these discussions included:

  1. Ensuring Product Security and Service Levels: Stakeholders underscored the importance of prioritizing product security and maintaining high service levels at shared warehousing facilities. This emphasis reflects a commitment to creating a logistics environment that prioritizes both efficiency and reliability.
  2. Micro-Hubs for Time and Cost Reductions: Participants recognized the substantial benefits of deploying micro-hubs near high-demand areas. The utilization of these strategically located hubs is expected to result in significant time and cost reductions for logistics industry players, thereby optimizing overall supply chain operations.
  3. Dynamic Assignment of Freight Distribution with Green Fleet Operators: Stakeholders acknowledged the feasibility of implementing dynamic assignment of freight distribution, particularly in areas with regulatory restrictions on conventional delivery vehicles. The enthusiasm surrounding the potential collaboration with Green fleet operators reflects a collective openness to innovative solutions aligned with sustainability goals.

Engaging with local stakeholders holds paramount importance for both the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Institute of Transport/CERTH. This interaction serves as a crucial step in validating research objectives and gauging reactions to the forthcoming urban environment changes across European municipalities. The success of the Open Day underscores the collaborative spirit and shared commitment towards building a more resilient and efficient urban logistics ecosystem. The DISCO project looks forward to further collaboration and partnerships as we continue our mission to reshape the future of urban logistics in Thessaloniki and beyond.

DISCO Spotlight: Covenant of Mayors’ Guide on Reducing Mobility Emissions

Guess what? DISCO is featured in Covenant of Mayors – Europe’s latest publication on ‘Policy Options to Reduce Emissions from the Mobility Sector’

This guide’s aim is to provide cities with resources to help reduce mobility emissions, sharing key initiatives, projects, guidelines, case studies, and tools in five areas:

Plus, we are thrilled to be listed alongside fellow CIVITAS Initiative projects URBANE, LEAD, MOVE21, and UPPER!

Read the full guide here.

DISCO event re-cap: Fall 2023

That’s right – DISCO never stands still! This fall, we kept busy by presenting our innovative project in different mobility and sustainable freight forums. Here is a recap:

ITS Australia Global Summit 2023

On 29 August 2023, DISCO Project’s Coordinator, Paola Cossu, presented groundbreaking insights at ITS Australia’s Global Summit 2023, during the BreakOut Session 36, focusing on Drones, Freight, and Logistics. Key topics included the dynamic use of space for logistics in cities and the role of the Physical Internet and Data Space in urban logistics.

Data Spaces Discovery Day

In Naples, the Data Spaces Discovery Day was held on October 16 and 17 2023, dedicated to unlocking the potential of Data Spaces and their crucial business value. Paola Cossu, CEO of FIT Consulting srl and DISCO’s Project Coordinator, was a speaker in a panel discussing the innovative role of data spaces in manufacturing and urban logistics. This includes the introduction of the Urban Freight Data Space within DISCO, focusing on the dynamic use of urban space for logistics.

Thanks to its comprehensive agenda, the event provided valuable insights into the role of data spaces in shaping the future of manufacturing and urban logistics. It was an opportunity to enhance the visibility of the data spaces, derive inspiration from both Italian and international projects, and for stakeholders in the sector to meet and discuss.


mFUND Driven by Data Workshop Series

Two years after the first workshop dedicated to logistics and freight took place, the mFUND DRIVEN by DATA series of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport brought back the topic to the centre of discussions. On October 18, our Project Coordinator Paola Cossu joined the fifth iteration of the workshop series, dedicated to the use of data for efficient and sustainable freight and logistics in Europe. The event also featured experts such as:

Through consistent engagement in these global events, DISCO aims to affirm its dedication to fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and driving innovations in the realms of logistics, data spaces, and sustainable urban freight.

Stay tuned for more!

DISCO at the ULaaDS final event

The project coordinator Paola Cossu attended the final event of the UlaaDS (Urban Logistics as an on-Demand Service) EU-funded project in Barcelona on 15-16 October. She joined a panel discussion along with Michael Glotz-Richter (City of Bremen), Breogan Sanchez ((Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation)) and Manon Levrey (Interface Transport). It focused on the status of urban logistics, touching on key lessons from ULaaDS and SENATOR, and exploring how new EU-funded projects could utilise these insights.

Collaboration, finding the right space for urban logistics, inclusion of SULPs in SUMPs, cargo hitching and data sharing to improve quality of life with more sustainable, efficient and resilient operations were some of the key topics treated.

As Paola Cossu stated, “If we pool resources and share learnings at EU level, having as main goal to taking care of people and business, we will succeed in replicating and adopting winning solutions for better planning, awareness, fair and balanced decision making, supporting business while reducing uncertainty, empty and unnecessary miles!”

DISCO attends the Urban Logistics Innovation Day

On 26 September 2023 the 1st edition of the Urban Logistics Innovation Day took place in Brussels with the participation of more than 100 representatives from cities, the logistics sector, and academia.

The Final Conference of the LEAD project – co-organised by POLIS and ALICE – was a unique chance to learn more about the results achieved by the project and to gather experts, innovators, and policymakers to share ideas and shape the future of sustainable urban logistics, including representatives from ongoing EU-funded projects focusing on urban freight, such as MOVE21, DISCO, URBANE, ULaaDS, SENATOR, GREEN-LOG, DECARBOMILE, among others.

During the conference participants had the opportunity to dive deeper into specific topics. Four sessions covered digital twins and what-if scenarios, consumer engagement, sustainability of urban freight, and zero-emission vehicles and support infrastructure for the last mile, as well as urban space optimisation and alignment with sustainable urban logistics. DISCO was part of it, here is a quick recap:

One of the takeaways of the event was that (i) the impact of digital twins on urban logistics is concrete and potentially scalable, (ii) the key role of Living Labs and co-creation activities in shaping new business models and public-private partnerships, and (iii) a need for more exchange of experiences and measurement of impact. To achieve these goals, cooperation between companies and local governments is essential to greener and more efficient urban logistics, something that is also at the heart of DISCO.

DISCO project kicks off for a new generation of urban logistics

On 16 and 17 May 2023, DISCO’s journey officially began in Brussels, where we had our inspiring kick-off meeting. The consortium came together to meet in person for the first time and develop a common vision and understanding of targets and goals. Find out more about our uniquely named project below.

DISCO kicks off! Last week, on 16 and 17 May 2023, partners from this new Horizon Europe project gathered together to meet in person and develop a common vision and understanding of targets and goals.

The unique DISCO name stands for ‘Data-driven, Integrated, Syncromodal, Collaborative and Optimised urban freight meta-model for a new generation of urban logistics and planning with data sharing at European Living Labs’. In short: it aims to support cities in undertaking the digital transformation of urban logistics and sustainable planning and to optimally and strategically manage urban space, in order to accelerate the achievement of EU mission cities goals by 2030.

“The DISCO ambition is to accompany the Physical Internet-led digital transition process in urban logistics planning. This transition can be compared to discography industry evolution: from vinyl to streaming, with music supplied as commodity and mass adoption by digital devices.” – Paola Cossu, DISCO Project Coordinator, FIT Consulting.

Over the course of 42 months, the consortium consisting of a whooping 47 partners will facilitate voluntary data sharing among stakeholders and introduce urban freight data space ecosystems that are efficient and trustworthy.

DISCO Living Labs discuss twinning activities.

DISCO Living Labs discuss twinning activities at the kick-off meeting.

How? DISCO will drive EU Cities towards Physical Internet by demonstrating 23 flagship solutions on optimal and flexible use of urban space for logistics in 8 European Living Labs, including:

But that is not all! 4 Follower Cities also join the projects, and they are:

The two-day kick-off meeting provided many fruitful insights to the consortium as they make their first steps towards a new era of innovative yet sustainable urban freight. Through group discussions, talk shows, workshops, and much more, partners got to know one another and explored the way ahead for the work in the Living Labs.

The meeting also saw the intervention of several European representatives on the project, such as Yannick Bousse, DISCO Project Officer, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), or Paola Chiarini, Policy Officer, European Commission – DG Mobility and Transport.

 “Given the wide-ranging expertise of the consortium, the direct involvement of 12 cities and the focus on uptake of the results, DISCO has a real potential to deliver innovative solutions and make urban logistics more efficient and sustainable.” – Paola Chiarini, Policy Officer, DG MOVE.

Yannick Bousse, DISCO Project Officer, delivers his speech on project expectations.

The event was only joined by Prof. Rod Franklin from Kuehne Logistics University, who opened the second day of the meeting with a speech on Physical Internet.

“Cities are complex social entities that operate through the integration of many networks. The complexity of interaction between these networks makes it very difficult for cities to deliver sustainable environments for their citizens. By enabling dynamic management of city infrastructures, the DISCO project is taking a positive step in assisting cities in addressing one aspect of their quest to provide citizens with the services they want; providing sustainable logistics that serve the demands of residents and businesses.” – Prof. Rod Franklin, Professor and Academic Director at Kuehne Logistics University.

After such an exciting meeting, we cannot wait to get down to business and work hard at delivering on all project objectives. Stay tuned – much more to come soon!