Freight Systems

21 Oct Freight Systems

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)

The report assumes fuel and pollution-related costs of transport will rise substantially.  However, such costs are only a minor part of the overall costs of a transport system that includes logistics for managing the “Production – Transport – Distribution” chain.  The report looks specifically into the transport of manufactured goods, representing 50% of total volume, but growing at a rate of 8% per year.  On a global scale, this marine-based system appears to be resilient and self-adapting to market conditions, while the local chains include rail, road and waterways.  Potential cost reductions are mainly linked to the power of IT in logistics, including in production (M2M), collection, shipping and distribution: the “second invisible arm”.
The study takes account of both world and European trends, and draws comparisons for gaining a better understanding of the French issues.  It also looks at related French Research capabilities and how to improve cross-fertilisation between different disciplines, the linkage to the private sector and international collaborations for greater impact.  Last, not least, it points to the need of making this sector more attractive to talented young people and adapt the curriculum at the “Grandes Écoles” to the needs of the market.

Group Leader: Jean-Claude Raoule, NATF Territorial Delegate West, Technical Advisor to the French Railway Industry Association, Director of the European Association of Railway Interoperability, and NATF Fellow.

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