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Smartfusion gets the attention of the Tyne and Wear Freight Quality Partnership

fqp-april-14The Tyne and Wear Freight Quality Partnership (FQP) held its best ever attended quarterly meeting on 11th March and SMARTFUSION was at the centre of the agenda! The membership is made up of City Councils; the Tyne & Wear Local Transport Planning Team; transport operators; the Freight Transport Association; Road Haulage Association; and a variety of shippers and receivers of goods, across several industries. More than 30 people attended, representing more than 20 different organisations.

The TWFQP seeks to understand the problems and issues relating to freight movement in the region and to provide a mechanism through which they can be addressed.

SMARTFUSION in the Spotlight

NewRail presented the SMARTFUSION concept to the assembled meeting and the work being done at Newcastle University as a case study /demonstrator of the use of clean vehicle technology in the urban environment. The presentation went on to describe our plans for urban freight consolidation and the better use of freight terminals. Questions were received from a very interested audience concerning:

  • How we can define ‚clean’ vehicles
  • The setting up of a university dedicated consolidation centre and what will happen after its trial period
  • How we will make the proposed  interventions work as a business model

Discussion continued around that fact that our scope goes beyond the purely financial aspects and that social responsibility also forms part of our agenda. 


TWFQP meetings always provide an excellent networking opportunity. Local drinks manufacturer AG Barr shared with us their experiences of using  a Smith Newton vehicle in their supply chain and special invited guests Outspoken Delivery, a Cambridge company using cargo bikes as a last mile delivery solution, offered to further explore mutual interests.

The group, many of whom still see ‚clean vehicles’ as new technology, expressed their eagerness for ongoing information, and are keen to have feedback from the case studies.

Further information about The Tyne and Wear Freight Quality Partnership (FQP)  can be found at:

 A copy of the presentation can be download here


Smartfusion Technology Demonstration

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On 10th April 2014 Lombardy Region and Como City Council organized a conference at the Chamber of Commerce to inform the local stakeholders about the demonstration of the new model of city logistics, which takes place in Como limited traffic zone (LTZ) during the week from 5th to 10th May 2014.

The demonstration activity foresees the use of the new Iveco electric vehicle and of the routing system that calculates least pollution grip for consolidated deliveries to LTZ dealers. The vehicle and the advanced navigation system have been developed respectively by Centro Ricerche Fiat and PTV Group within the Smartfusion project.

The event saw the participation of numerous local stakeholders, including representatives of trade associations, public ins

titutions, dealers of the city center and local press.

The Commissioner of Commerce for Lombardy Region as well as the Commissioners of Commerce, Logistics and Environment of Como City Council highlighted their support to this project considering the importance of reducing noise, congestion and pollution in the historical center as a means of making Como a more livable and safer town for its inhabitants but also to improve attractiveness for tourists with an implementation of competitiveness and economic development.

Roberto Tola of Centro Ricerche Fiat and Wolfgang Kipp of PTV Group illustrated the technological innovations of the prototypes developed thanks to the EU contribution while Carlo Vaghi of Clas Group stressed the importance of the dealers’ participation at the test activity in order to gain reliable results.

All participants contributed to the discussion with great interest and proactiveness bringing forward interesting suggestions and proposals. Como City Council will take into consideration the remarks of the local stakeholders as well the results of the technological demonstration in order to implement the existing regulatory measures in the LTZ.

Smartfusion Newsletter #3

In this third edition of the Smartfusion Newsletter, we are pleased to present the Smartfusion use cases and requirements, system design, and some updates on the demonstration sites. NewRail will host a 3-day event in Newcastle from 10 to 12 June. After our annual consortium meeting, we shall present our progress to the Enhanced Transfer Programme (ETP) members at a targeted dissemination workshop. The Smartfusion Urban Freight Conference will take place on June 12 and will be open to anyone interested in the subject of smart urban freight. This will allow us to gain valuable feedback and mentoring from these important city-region

To read more click here to download and read in full the Smartfusion Newsletter #3 

To subscribe to newsletter and receive next issues in your mailbox, sign up here !

Amazon levy to ease post room overload

Andrew HillBy Andrew Hill (Financial Times)

You would be quite happy to allow someone else to open the boot of your car and drop off your groceries while you are absent. You would...

The full article can be found at:

POLIS Conference, 4-5 December 2013,

With over 350 people registered, among which Polis members accounted for one-third, the 2013 Annual Polis Conference set the record as the most popular Polis conference ever. Delegates gathered at Area42 in Brussels to learn about the latest developments and future plans across a wide range of transport themes in 17 parallel sessions and two plenary sessions.

Smartfusion was represented both by Dr. Julius Menge from Senate Department for Urban Development and Environment Berlin who presented a paper based on Smartfusion "Understanding urban freight stakeholder's response to last mile green solutions" And by Tom Zunder of the NewRail Freight and Logistics Group who chaired a session on "New assessment methods for city logistics.

More information, photos and presentations can be found on the POLIS website

BESTFACT international workshop on Co-modality and Green Logistics


19th & 20th September 2013 in Vienna, Austria

This international, two-day workshop, in Vienna, was built around the themes of Co-modality and Green Logistics and was attended by 85 people, including participants from the EC; national and regional government agencies; freight industry participants; academics; and project partners. The moderator throughout was Tom Zunder, from NewRail (UNEW).

Day 1


The opening session, by Marcel Huschebeck (PTV), included an introduction on the aims, scope, methodology and objectives of BESTFACT and was followed by a series of presentations by representatives from Austria Tech, Rail Cargo Austria and the Rail Traction Company .The first of these was focused on the role of research in making Austria a “gateway” for Europe, with a particular focus on Turkey and the new accession states. The importance of best practice adoption and deployment was reinforced. The presentation from RCA set out their role and capabilities and stressed the need for partnerships to develop, to encourage rail freight on existing and new corridors. The presentation from RTC set out the development of a newly established traction company and some of the key limiting constraints on rail’s capabilities and competitiveness, which need to be addressed. A keynote speech from the EC laid out an analysis of the move from a focus on modal shift through co-modality, to modal integration with aspirations for future development. The opening presentations were followed by a discussion session on the need for rail to become and remain more consistently cost competitive and reliable.

Next came presentations with a more focused commercial and analytical weighting, for example a project, developed in Italy, to identify more fully and accurately the potential commodities and volumes that could be attracted to rail. This was followed by a case study from The Netherlands, identifying the potential of inland waterways to compete for FMCG flows and reefer commodities, and a presentation on the varying dimensions of containers and the case for the adoption of 45’ pallet wide containers.

The final presentations on Day 1 were on co-modal solutions and innovations. These included co-modal bulk logistics using the Mobilier Technology, the use of best practice in intermodal bulk transport and details of a new ro-ro service, between Trieste and Bettembourg, developed around the MODALOR technology set.

The ensuing discussion focused on the differences in the expected service life of rail equipment and rolling stock compared to road freight and the slow pace of change within the rail sector. The variability in container equipment size and capability was seen as a major limitation, in terms of international agreement and acceptance. The innovative technologies presented were both advocated as examples of applied innovation.

Day 2

bestf2The first presentation was on rail freight corridors and green corridors, identifying differing definitions for these corridors, especially between the policy and commercial perspectives. A series of recent projects was reviewed to demonstrate these differences. The RETRACK project was presented from two differing perspectives: from the research (PANTEIA) and the operational side (TRANSPETROL GmbH).

Post the end of the EC supported operation there was a review of the on-going operation of RETRACK as a commercial entity. Many key points were made about the need for complete operational and commercial control to be exercised along the routes operated, together with fully flexible scheduling. The ability to match loads and combine differing types of goods and also accommodate varying transit times was detailed. The Super Green corridor project was used to demonstrate how this concept was developed and could be applied flexibly in a number of differing projects. The METROCARGO project was presented as a cost effective option, for the rapid intermodal transfer of containers between road and rail, using a horizontal transfer technology, already selected by a major international shipping line.

The final presentation sessions on Day 2 were around the theme of “Greening Logistics” and best practices on economically feasible solutions.

Austrian Post AG presented their strategy to offset the loss of letter mail and the need to contain costs, enhance service levels and simultaneously protect the environment. The measures already undertaken were presented, together with details of on-going intentions for achieving a zero carbon footprint. The second presentation in this final session was on the need to develop the concept of a circular economy in relation to transport, logistics, the commodities being moved and a wider corporate responsibility. The use of innovative measures, involving multi-modal transport, was presented. The final presentation was on the need to optimise the whole logistics process and to minimise empty running and unused capacity. These positions have been developed by consolidation of goods and developing methods to achieve higher utilization rates, even when this may involve later delivery dates. Support from the Marco Polo funding stream has allowed the deployment of the planning tool, aimed at optimizing logistics and achieving cost reductions. The closing presentations were followed by a discussion session on the potential application of the consolidation tool for rail and shipping applications and for different type of goods. Looking at alternative options for the delivery of parcels was raised, as a development option.

The moderator summed up Day 2 and workshop conclusions and closed the proceedings with thanks to BMVIT, Econsult and the BESTFACT Cluster 2 leaders.   

More information on these presentations and a detailed summary of this workshop can be found here



eu flag Smartfusion is co-ordinated and managed by NewRail.

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Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 8573



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This Project is being funded by the European Commission, 
Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement No. 285195