PLATO shows logistics the way in digital platforms
In cooperation with
Smartport, Evofenedex, Bigmile, Port of Rotterdam, Fourkites, Shippeo, TLN, RSM, Tilburg University en Royal Flora Holland.
PLATO was established to help Dutch logistics navigate the maze of digital platforms. In PLATO, we are working on the transition to a more digital and sustainable future of logistics: how can digital platform technology help Dutch logistics, using new value-added information services (VAIS) that make logistics sustainable and competitive?
The logistics sector is vital to the Dutch economy. Every day, goods and services arrive at their destination through an extensive logistics network that is becoming increasingly extensive and complex. Major hubs, such as Flora Holland or the port of Rotterdam, bring together a number of companies. The responsibility for shipments is transferred from one party to another in such hubs. To ensure this works smoothly and make collaboration ever more effective, companies in logistics and supply chain management increasingly rely on information technologies.
Logistics faces a maze of digital platforms
Pioneers have set up inter-organisational systems that support data sharing for logistics collaboration. Early adapters were quick to embrace digitalisation in logistics. They saw opportunities to use digital resources to improve and optimise the supply chain using advanced analytics and process automation. They created their own digital environment or used third-party digital platforms to collect data on their logistics processes.
The more traditional logistics service providers (LSPs) and freight forwarders were more reluctant to embrace the digital change. But now they too see the potential benefits and are exploring cheaper digitalisation alternatives, including using third-party platforms.
The various initiatives and the emergence of external platform providers mean that there is now a maze of information technologies for logistics collaboration. It is an ecosystem of digital platforms for logistics, where it is not clear which platform serves which purpose.
The PLATO project
PLATO was established to help Dutch logistics navigate the maze of digital platforms. In PLATO, we are working on the transition to a more digital and sustainable future of logistics: how can digital platform technology help Dutch logistics using new value-added information services (VAIS) that make logistics sustainable and competitive?
What will the PLATO project mean for logistics?
The PLATO project maps the various digital platforms and the taxonomy within logistics for the first time. This will help remove barriers and clarify what kind of platform needs to be set up to achieve particular objectives.
What objectives is PLATO pursuing?
- Spotting opportunities for the logistics sector by identifying value-added service descriptions relevant to shippers, carriers, LSPs, and forwarders that can be delivered by digital platforms in the future. The descriptions are functional descriptions, not algorithms that actually create the VAIS on a platform;
- Accelerating digitalisation in the logistics sector by providing information about digital opportunities;
- Drafting guidelines for further developing digital strategies for digital ecosystem orchestrators.
How do we address this within the PLATO project?
We have set out three work steps to achieve the intended objectives:
- Gap analysis: in this step, we analyse current logistics platforms, predict where they are going and what barriers people might experience and can anticipate;
- Digital Platform Decision-making tool: this tool, a decision tree, clarifies which platform serves which purpose. This is the PLATO decision tree tool;
- Valorisation and dissemination: determining the value of the individual platforms and disseminating knowledge and information about the platforms within logistics.
The PLATO decision tree tool helps logistics navigate digital platforms
We will deliver the PLATO report by the end of 2023. In the report, we will introduce the PLATO tool: a decision tree tool that will make it easier to navigate between the various digital platforms in the logistics sector. Parties will be able to identify in the tool what type of platform they need for a particular objective.
Who else is collaborating on the PLATO project?
The project team consists of: RSM, Tilburg University, and TNO ST&L. Together, we are responsible for implementing the project and achieving its objectives.
Sylvie PoelsFunctie:Projectleader Sustainable Transport and Logistics
Together with my project teams, we work every day with a lot of energy to achieve the best possible project result with the aim of making society more sustainable every day. By sharing our results on digital platforms, such as the TNO website, we can make more impact together.
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