SETRIS defines an »Integrated Transport System«

Fernando Liesa, ETP ALICE

The European Technology Platform (ETP) ALICE creates with its work essential conditions to achieve sustainable and competitiveness logistics in Europe. A major step towards this objective is the definition for an integrated transport system in that regard. The report, prepared within the SETRIS project, aims at an holistic understanding of future logistics supported by all transport modes ETPs and was consigned to EU and Commissioner Violeta Bulc not long ago– Fernando Liesa of ETP ALICE explains the key issues.


Freight transport and logistics is the link between different processes in the value chain of goods from raw materials to finalised products and end of life management. Transport needs to be seen from a systemic perspective allowing end-to-end solutions addressing first mile, long distance transport and last mile in the context of cities, regions, countries European and global trade. We stand for a truly integrated transport system as vision to reach significant advance in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of freight transport and logistics, creating value and adding competitiveness to all manufacturing and retail sectors in Europe and supporting the achievement of societal challenges associated to freight transport.


The aims to achieve the truly integrated transport system for sustainable and efficient logistics are:

• To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of freight transport system supported by current infrastructure, including corridors and hubs, and maximizing socio-economic impact of future infrastructure developments.

• To maximize the support to EU policies, in particular transport, energy and environment policies by increasing vehicles ́ load factors, asset utilization and minimizing empty travels increasing overall system sustainability i.e. progressing towards low carbon low energy transport system, reducing congestion, improving safety and security as well as increase competitiveness of European industry, supporting growth. 


For us, the truly integrated transport system for sustainable and efficient logistics is based on an open and global system of transport and logistics assets, hubs, resources and services operated (in an open environment and framework conditions) by individual companies. They are fully visible and accessible to market players hence creating a network of logistics networks. Coordination of logistics, transport, infrastructure and supply networks aim to move, store, supply and use physical objects throughout the world in a manner that is economically, environmentally and socially efficient, secure and sustainable. The system will be based on physical, digital, and operational interconnectivity.


As the next step to build on the agreement and consensus reached, a Strategic Research Agenda and Implementation Plan will be prepared to pave the way towards the implementation and achievement of the truly integrated transport system for sustainable and efficient logistics. 



Fernando Liesa is Secretary General at ETP ALICE.

The full document “Truly Integrated Transport System for Sustainable and Efficient Logistics” is available upon request to

For more general Information about ETP ALICE click here.



•   European technology platforms (ETP) are industry-driven interest groups in which integrated strategies for research, innovation and market development are developed. ETP ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe) was founded in 2013. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund strongly supported the set-up of ETP ALICE. Today, the Fraunhofer IML is involved in all levels in supporting the interests of its cluster partners. Prof. Michael ten Hompel, managing director, is a member of the Steering Group in which the strategic decisions are made; Andreas Nettsträter is member of the Executive Group and vice-chair of the Working Group “Information systems for interconnected logistics“, one of five Working Groups. The Working Groups cover all operational areas of logistics and emphasize the extensive range of ETP.

•    The SETRIS project (Strengthening European Transport Research and Innovation Strategies”, 1st May 2015 to 30th April 2017) brings together five Transport European Technology Platforms (ETPs) – road, rail, air, water and logistics – and a variety of their membership as partners into one consortium, coordinated by ECTRI (the European Conference of Transport Research Institutes) and Newcastle University.  Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation, SETRIS aims to deliver a cohesive and coordinated approach to research and innovation strategies for all transport modes in Europe. The project includes 18 partners, among them Fraunhofer IML.

•    Freight transport and logistics are key elements for European industry competitiveness and sustainable growth. According to the World Bank, the best four logistics performers are from the EU and out of the global top‐10, seven of them are from the EU in 2014 and 2016. Keeping current European world leadership in logistics is the key for the future of Europe’s citizens. The EU is the world's largest exporter and biggest trader of goods. However, it is estimated that in the next 10 to 15 years, 90 percent of the world’s growth will come from outside the EU. So the EU has every interest in guaranteeing that its companies remain very competitive and are able to access new markets and benefit from these sources of growth. It is also estimated that logistics account for 10 to 15 percent of the final cost of finished goods hence the competitiveness of industry sectors (such as the automotive and the food industries) relies heavily on the performance of freight transport and logistics. In this sense, a 10 to 30 percent improvement in efficiency in the EU logistics sector would potentially equal a € 100 to 300 billion cost relief for the European industry and also reducing 15 to 30 % CO2 emissions.