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International consortium kicks off ePlcenter project

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Dry Bulk,

A large consortium of 36 partners representing leading ports, forwarders, cargo owners, logistics providers, knowledge institutes and technology firms have officially launched the ePIcenter project. The project is funded by the European Horizon 2020 programme and has a timeframe of 42 months.

Under the coordination of Port of Antwerp, the partners will join forces to provide hands on solutions that turn global supply chain challenges caused by increasing length, complexity and vulnerability into opportunities. The goal will be to enable seamless transport of goods, focusing especially on the technological and operational opportunities that the Physical Internet, synchro-modal operations and other disruptive technologies such as Hyperloop, Industry 4.0 and autonomous vehicles provide.

ePIcenter has a global scope, with a number of large scale demonstrators on main shipping routes from Europe to Canada and the US, as well as new trade routes such as the Northern Sea Route and the Silk Road routes. Technology innovators and environmental experts will collaborate to develop new solutions which increase the efficiency and sustainability of global supply chains.

With result oriented field trials and working with some of the most ambitious players in the trade and logistics sector, the project commits to creating solutions with a tangible impact towards the sustainable logistics chain of the future.

Port of Antwerp, next to coordinating the ePIcenter project, will host one of the large scale demonstrators. The ‘Link of the Future’ demonstrator will focus on implementing the various ePIcenter innovations in one of Europe’s largest multimodal transport hubs, as well as realising the first transcontinental cyber secure trade lane. Furthermore, Port of Antwerp’s international network will create possibilities for valuable worldwide knowledge sharing and further improvement of the tools developed in the project.

Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at the Port of Antwerp, said: “We are very enthusiastic about kicking off the ePIcenter project, which will allow us to create a transcontinental, integrated and transparant freight corridor by leveraging existing and promising technologies, frameworks and data standards. Port of Antwerp and Port of Montreal, both important nodes in the global supply chain, will act as catalyst for symbiosis amongst the different stakeholders.”

Annick De Ridder, Vice Mayor of the Port of Antwerp, added: "The future of our port and its prosperity goes hand in hand with the power of innovation. We are proud to play a pioneering role and to serve as a laboratory for innovation. Today more than ever it is important to make our global supply chain more resilient to an evolving and volatile world with a variety of challenges."

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