Project: GILA - German, Italian & Latin American consortium for resource efficient logistics hubs & transport

Like all other business sectors, logistics has to contribute its share to the sustainable transformation of our economies, as well as in reducing absolute GHG emissions and enhance resource efficiency to, thus, meet Paris Agreement’s objectives. The project GILA is designed to contribute to global efforts in reducing the environmental impact (especially carbon impact) of logistics. Focus is laid on logistics sites that play a connecting role within transport chains and refer to all sites that combine different transport legs (within and between modes) or are the starting or end point of transport chains. Instead of “logistics sites” other terms can also be used, such as logistics nodes, hubs, facilities, centres or depots. Examples are logistics facilities/logistics buildings such as warehouses, consolidation/fulfilment centres, distribution centres, cross-docking sites or micro depots/city hubs as well terminals at maritime or inland ports, freight and intermodal terminals or cargo terminals at airports.

Project objectives

For realising the overall objective, it addresses two main areas of research with underlying main objectives:

  1. Best practices and future requirements, services and concepts for sustainable logistics sites within an energy and resource efficient transport chain
    1. a.      Trend study and demand analysis for logistics sites
    2. b.      Development of concept(s) for tomorrow‘s logistics sites within transport chains
    3. c.      Guidance for reducing the environmental impact of logistics sites and transport and for enhancing sustainability of logistics activities
  2. Establishment of a methodological framework for describing detailed the environmental performance of logistics sites
    1. a.      Classification scheme and environmental KPI‘s for logistics sites and transport
    2. b.      Estimation of national GHG inventory of logistics sites and reduction paths
    3. c.      Transfer of latest expertise into global standardization activities by participating in ISO 14083 / NWIP 24468

Environmental performance of logistics sites

The targeted methodological framework for assessing the environmental performance of logistics sites helps to gain enhanced transparency and robust basis for decision management and for the targeted identification and the definition of measures to reduce CO2 emissions. We will introduce and discuss it within international networks, e.g. the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) or EcoTransIT World, and during the ISO 14083/NWIP 24468 process. Existing calculation tools and green freight programs may use the elaborated average emission intensity values or other environmental KPIs for defined types of logistics sites, e.g. as default values or for benchmark setting.

Sustainable concepts for tomorrow‘s logistics sites

In addition, the concept(s) for tomorrow‘s logistics sites and sharing best practices help participating companies to be prepared for future trends and demands within logistics networks and to pave effective pathways towards 2050 zero emissions logistics and the sustainable transformation of the sector. The project enables industry to use the outcomes within future planning and implementation projects of new investments in logistics sites infrastructure, e.g. city hub distribution, new grey field warehouse projects or sustainable transformation of existing warehouses, transhipment sites and terminals.

The international consortium

Fraunhofer IML is responsible for the project lead and the scientific implementation of the project. One content focus lies on the methodological approach for developing environmental KPIs for logistics sites, another on the sustainable design of material handling and yard logistics as well as the implementation of circular economy cooncepts. Arcadis Germany GmbH as developer of logistics sites brings in the expertise regarding concepts for sustainability and energy efficiency of logistics real estates and infrastructure. One main focus in GILA is the modelling of prototype. P3 Logistic Parks contributes its know-how regarding sustainable industrial properties and market development. The Italian partner Politecnico di Milano provides expertise on green logistics concepts, GreenRouter is mainly responsible for the calculation of GHG emissions of logistics sites. The Italian industry partners Fercam, Flexilog, Conad and Prysmian group contribute their expertise and experience of their own logistics sites. Finally, Universidad de los Andes brings in its Latin American perspective and experience on environmental performance of terminals. In addition, a parallel discussion and validation is planned with external stakeholders.

The project GILA - German, Italian & Latin American consortium for resource efficient logistics hubs & transport is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (FKZ 03INT712BA).

The project period is from July 2020 till July 2023.

This project is supported by:

Slide deck of GILA webinar: Market study 2021

see also:

REff Tool®, the GHG assessment Tool for logistics sites

The present REff Tool® is the result of a number of interlinked projects and activities in close cooperation with and the support of various partners: e.g. the German R&D project Green Logistics, LEARN project (co-funded by the EU), the Global Logistics Emissions Council GLEC, EcoTransIT World, Sustainable Performance Monitor focussing container terminals, and others. Further research on this topic is currently done by the international project GILA (German, Italian & Latin American consortium for resource efficient logistics hubs & transport).