Combi Terminal Twente (CTT) is the core-organisor of the Dutch Living Lab. CTT is a hinterland terminal in the east of the Netherlands. Having a central role in the regional business community, which comes from its natural role as a transshipment point, CTT is one of the driving forces in 'Port of Twente' - the business community association. The Twente region has the ambition to become a logistics hotspot, strategically located between the deep-sea port of Rotterdam and the west-European hinterland and very well served by road, rail and waterways.
The ambition of the Dutch Living Lab is to enable collaboration between stakeholders in the Twente region and thus stimulate competetiveness and attractiveness of the area. An information infrastructure for sharing data – driven by business needs – is needed to support this.
The objective of the Dutch LL is to create a light-weight, low-cost and flexible infrastructure for sharing data. The aim is to reduce the barriers to start developing apps and services the community requires.
CTT developed a data sharing infrastructure (kind of Appstore) for the Twente business community at large. CTT also used this infrastructure to develop apps and services for their terminal’s customers and suppliers. Parts of the infrastructure will in the future also be used by Port of Twente (the community association) for sharing public data (e.g. vessel movements on the main inland waterways in the region).
To demonstrate the use of the architecture, some example apps and services were developed in LogiCon:
Case 1: An app for lock planning (http://www.portoftwente.com/open-source-initiative/) supporting both barge operators and Rijkswaterstaat.
Case 2: Dynamic data on Inlandlinks.eu, an advanced connection where real-time information of CTT’s services has become available.
Case 3: Spanish app in Dutch context - implementing the Spanish app for SME truckers in the Dutch context.
Role of logistics SMEs
There are a lot of SMEs involved in the business community around Twente, both logistic service providers and shippers. SMEs have specific requirements for adopting new IT-capabilities. Very often, the level of IT maturity is lower than in large organizations and when solutions are adopted, set-up should be quick and cheap while benefits need to be perceived immediately. In the Dutch Living Lab LogiCon tries to meet these requirements by developing an information infrastructure that can support delivery of flexible, cheap and where needed tailored solutions that are easy to implement.
Benefits for SMEs
Benefits for logistics SMEs in the Twente region resulted from the use of the information infrastructure and its connected apps in their operational processes. The functionality of the apps determined the exact type of benefit and the architecture as such was merely an enabler. However, a lot of app development companies were also SMEs and the architecture led to direct benefits for them because it helped them to launch apps for the logistics community cheaper and easier.
Living Lab Achievements:
- new apps have been developed
- parties started to use them
- parties started to invest in apps and solutions
- opportunities arised for further deployment and roll-out