Innovations to improve the supply chain at the 2nd International Physical Internet Conference

modu2The Physical Internet initiative has celebrated from 6th to 8th of July 2015 its 2nd International Conference in Paris. The event gathered several Logistics European projects such as MODULUSHCA, BESTFACT and LOGICON, funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, and it counted with the support of MHI, the largest material handling, logistics and supply chain institute in USA.

During the event, outstanding researchers and experts from key stakeholders of supply chains such as P&G, DHL, BAYER, SCHMITZ CARGOBULL, FM LOGISTIC, CHEP, POSTE ITALIANE, PTV GROUP, GEORGIA TECH, MINES ParisTech and ITENE Research Center shared their experiences to implement interconnected logistics solutions and stimulate the discussions during the workshop sessions. More than 250 proffessionals attended this 3 days conference hosted by MINES ParisTech.


 Physical Internet Initiative is based on a hyperconnected global logistic system enabled through encapsulation of goods and standard interfaces and protocols, with the aim to make the supply chain to behave like the internet and to become more sustainable and efficient.

According to this, for example, Rod Franklin from ALICE said during the Conference: “30% better truck load would gain industry €160 billion and reduce CO2 by 1.3%”. So, it’s expected that Physical Internet will enable production capacity to become modular and mobile in the future.

But a sustainable Physical Internet requires cooperation and coordination from all the partners, especially from transport companies and logistics service providers. But then all partners will accept the standardized system or even more are willing to invest in it? And how will it be achieved a balanced win-win situation through collaboration? These were some of the key issues discussed during the event.

On the other hand, some companies showed their innovations to re-think and improve the supply chain. For instance, DHL presented new trends in transport and urban logistics such as the ‘Armadillo’, a cargo bike platform large and sturdy enough to haul bigger, heavier loads while still remaining compact and fast enough to navigate bike paths without clogging up cycling traffic.

Modulushca Project

This was a joint event with the FinalMODULUSHCA Project Conference, where the latest results and challenges about interconnected logistics were presented. Modulushca project is the first real experience of the Physical Internet vision in Europe which proposes to encapsulate all goods in smart, modular, eco-friendly and standard units loads to handle, store and transport them as best fit through shared facilities across open networks.

During its Final Conference, the consortium presented the first generation of box-design m-box and the full box testing and optimization process. As a conclusion of the project and the conference, Guido Delfgauuw  from JAN DE RIJK said that “the long term path towards the Physical Internet is paved”. And Sergio Barbarino, research fellow from Procter&Gamble, said that the objective of P&G is “to deliver what consumers’ need, in an efficient and cost effective way” and the best way to achieve it is the collaboration proposed with the Physical Internet initiative: “We Can Create More Value Together, Than We Ever Could Alone”, concluded.

At the end of the conference, Professor Eric Ballot from MINES ParisTech announced that 3rd International Physical Internet Conference will be held in Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA, in 2016.