PCS Automation: Deliveries Planning System-Actual I.T.’s pilot project with PoloInoltra under the DigLogs EU project

As part of the DigLogs project, under the Interreg Italy-Croatia programme, Actual I.T. has developed a specific graph traversal algorithm to solve the Deliveries Planning  problem. The first prototype of the DelPlan application has been completed as planned, by 8th June. Below is the pilot action description and the diagram of the solution design.

Deliveries Planning pilot description:

At present, Carriers have high operational costs due to the complexity of the intermodal shipments planning management. At the same time, the decision-making process when setting a specific route for a service could be affected by personal bias, resulting in an inefficient service routing, with consequently higher costs. Another major problem is caused by the complexity in re-routing services in case of unexpected events, including delays, traffic, weather, and other variables. Due to the complexity of rerouting services, the unreliability of Estimated Time of Arrivals (ETAs) can mislead users and make the intermodal services less competitive than the standard ones.

The creation of an automated Deliveries Planning system aims at preventing these issues, by guiding the operator throughout the decision-making process, showing the various alternatives for an intermodal service, allowing to book in advance the service needed, simplifying the procedures for Custom Declarations and the processing of Dangerous Goods. At the same time, the system would allow a track and trace system to guide the whole service, reprocessing ETD considering traffic and weather conditions.

The PCS Automation – Deliveries Planning pilot aims at creating and testing a Deliveries Planning module, which could in the future extend the Port Community Systems. The Deliveries Planning Technology aims at providing an improved knowledge for operators in the decision-making process for the shipment routing through comparison of multimodal services in terms of prices, transit times and schedules, matching ITUs requirements/compatibility with the vessel, shipment requirements and Dangerous Goods limitations, while providing re-routing options based on traffic & weather conditions. The full scope of the Deliveries Planning innovation system aims at guiding the operator with an automatic booking process (including Custom Declarations and Dangerous Goods processing), then follows the shipment through a Track&Trace system, giving a real-time updated ETA, and finally provides emission certificates at the end of the journey.

The pilot application focuses its scope on the route selection algorithm, exploring all the parameters that might affect the selection and establishing the criteria for prioritizing optimal route selection. It examines the circumstances and parameters that might cause rerouting at each node along the chosen route. Finally, it will examine KPIs for calculating route performance and provide comparison reports among different available options, as well as comparison between planned (nominated) and completed (travelled) route performance.

Figure 1: Deliveries Planning – Pilot Solution Design