ALICE highlights from Transport Research Arena 2024

Friday, April 26th, 2024

Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2024, held on 15-18 April in Dublin, Ireland, brought together over 4000 of the industry’s brightest minds to focus on advancing sustainable and inclusive mobility.

Engaging sessions

ALICE’s involvement at TRA 2024 spanned various activities, including organising and participating in plenary, strategic and special sessions addressing key issues in transport and logistics.

As part of Plenary – Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods David McRedmond, CEO of our member An Post, highlighted the company objective to become carbon neural by 2030 and that 3 years back they ordered 750 electric vans. Mrs Rosalinde Van der Vlies applaud this initiative as a best practice and pointed out the need to have concrete objectives and take bold steps. Currently, the challenge is to reach rural areas and to get access to charging infrastructure for heavier vehicles. Additionally, competition for green energy is ahead se we need to keep it flexible.

Strategic Session on Logistics Decarbonisation Champions: Accelerating the Decarbonisation of Freight Transport left numerous examples and takeaways e.g. 19 month in a row with growing average temperature, 12% of energy related CO2 is from logistics being 85% from transportation, Ireland is the 3rd best connected country out of the 181 according to DHL. Examples of innovation deployment were given such as GLEC (from COFRET and LEARN project), Smart Box (Modulushca),  and ALICE EXPRESS from CO3 and NEXTRUST.

Strategic Session 4.3 – How to Achieve Transport Data Sharing? In this session inefficiencies in the movement of people and goods caused by paper-based documents, fragmented information, and system silos were addressed. Policies and regulations, such as eFTI n, the Common European Mobility Data Space, and the Single European Sky framework were discussed as levers for efficiency. Still, it is imperative to make it simple and to ensure digital siloes are not created and it is made open and universal for small carriers/road. The ALICE discussion paper on the shared data language was spotted as a call for action to the logistics industry collaboration to create a good framework for digitalization.

How Can Research and Collaboration Support Cost-effective Solutions for Zero-emission Heavy-Duty Vehicles session, organised by European Commission-JRC, ALICE, ERTRAC, and 2Zero and with the support of CEDR dived into current development of zero-emission technologies and the need to address the interdependencies between, vehicles, charging infrastructure, grid and logistics cases to accelerate road transport decarbonization.

Innovation in Urban Logistics: Public and Private Sectors Thriving Together focused on collaborative efforts towards zero-emission urban freight transport. This session provided a platform for sharing successful case studies and innovative solutions, such as digital twins and the Physical Internet, which are essential for reshaping urban logistics.

How can Large-scale Demonstration Accelerate CCAM Adoption in European Logistic Chains session explored lessons from CCAM demonstration projects in logistics and passenger transport, discussing strategies for moving from large-scale demonstrations to real-life implementation.

Integration of automated transport solutions into logistics chains of SSS and IWT session focused on enhancing inland waterway and short sea shipping as key strategies for decarbonizing transport by integrating automated vessel technologies and innovative business models into supply chains.

Ports and Airports for a Green Transition of Mobility & Logistics session focused on accelerating the green and digital transition of ports and airports, aiming to enhance multimodality and reduce CO2 emissions through innovative solutions and stakeholder collaboration.

All ALICE relevant sessions can be found here: (More information).  

ALICE Logistic Innovation Village

A central feature of ALICE’s participation was the ALICE Logistic Innovation Village, where 26 EU-funded projects were exhibited These projects were grouped into thematic clusters such as AEVETO (Advanced Electric Heavy-duty Vehicles for Efficient and Economic Transport Operations), “Better life in better city” (Urban logistics cluster), “Intermodality and resilience in logistics networks” cluster, “Ports and hubs” cluster the Connected, Cooperative and Automated Logistics ( AI4CCAM, MODI), KEYSTONE and ReSChape projects, providing a comprehensive overview of research and innovation efforts aimed at transforming the logistics landscape. More information

Moreover, the ALICE Logistic Innovation Village also hosted two sessions representing the ReSChape and FOR FREIGHT projects

Reshaping Supply Chains: Trends, Disruptions, and Sustainable Innovations session delved into the question how modern supply chains are evolving in the face of global challenges, with a focus on resilience, sustainability and impactful innovation for a socially responsible future.

Unlocking Efficiency: FOR-FREIGHT’s Solution to Intermodal Transport Interfaces Challenges session presented the FOR-FREIGHT project that aims to streamline global intermodal transport by developing standardised solutions for integration and efficiency, addressing key challenges in Spain, Greece and Romania to reduce costs and improve service across the supply chain.
(More information)

The ALICE Logistic Innovation Village was not just a showcase but also a hub for intensive knowledge exchange and networking. It attracted hundreds of visitors, including industry representatives, policy makers, and researchers, who engaged directly with the projects and gained insights into the latest advancements in logistics technology.

Celebrating innovation: TRA VISIONS 2024 Young Researcher Award Ceremony

ALICE took part in the TRA VISIONS 2024 Young Researcher Award Ceremony. Sergio Barbarino, ALICE Vice-Chair and Senior Director Research Fellow at Procter & Gamble, presented the Crossmodal Logistics Award, sponsored by ALICE, to Maurice Krauth from Technische Universität Dresden. Moreover, together with Mohamed Mezghani, UITP Secretary General and Magda Kopczynska, DG MOVE, he gave the Crossmodal Award to Rita Prior Filipe. This award recognises and celebrates the innovative work in cross-modal transport, mobility, and logistics, showcasing the fresh perspectives and transformative solutions that push the boundaries of technology and innovation in logistics.

Recognizing Senior Researchers

We are delighted that our Urban Logistics co-chair, Paola Cossu, won the Senior Researcher competition for Crossmodality.

Educational outreach and engagement

In line with TRA 2024’s focus on education and engagement, ALICE welcomed two groups of students as part of the TRA Schools Outreach Programme. The ALICE team gave presentations that allowed young minds to explore the logistics sector, understand career opportunities, and interact with professionals. Students participated in quizzes designed to test their understanding of the logistics sector, and visited ALICE Logistic Innovation Village discovering the exposed projects.

Collaborative success

The success of TRA 2024 was supported by the collaborative approach of the ALICE Logistic Innovation Village, which leveraged the event as a true arena for cross-fertilisation across modes and stakeholders. Discussions with key figures such as Magda Kopczynska, Director General at DG Move, Prof. Alain McKinnon, and many others, highlighted the conference’s role in moving technologies towards actual innovations and preparing them for scalability.

As the curtains close on TRA 2024, the outcomes of the discussions and the collaborations initiated are expected to resonate throughout the logistics and transport sectors, accelerating the path towards decarbonisation and resilience in supply chains. The engagement at TRA 2024 has set a benchmark for future collaborations, underscoring ALICE’s commitment to shaping an innovative and sustainable logistics future.

ALICE would like to thank all partners, participants and the organising committee of TRA 2024. The fruitful exchanges and the collaborative spirit of the event have undoubtedly enriched the European transport research arena and propelled it towards a more connected and sustainable future.

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