Living lab 8 – Northampton

Location: United Kingdom, mainland Europe

Living lab type: Supply chain visibility

ITS corridors affected
North Sea-Mediterranean corridor

Partners involved: Northampton University (lead); Unilever; Yusen


The overall objectives of this test case are as follows:

To test, evaluate and enhance the compatibility and interoperability of logistics information standards and technologies adopted by different regions, in particular to support the UK to mainland Europe and China corridors, using the AEOLIX architecture. To identify the potential role of ICT in improving co-modality and inter-modality of international logistics and assess the impact of new AEOLIX solutions to achieve that.

The challenges:

Managing freight between UK and mainland Europe remains a challenge due to congestion and inherent variability of ferry performance. Multiple modes are needed in all cases and connectivity between modes and actors – physical and information – remains a challenge, particularly as service level requirements increase and delivery windows are squeezed. Specifically, we will focus on the following key issues:

  • End-to-End Visibility: due to lack of the timeliness and accuracy of information, end-to-end visibility, especially in real time, can be problematic.
  • Dynamic Routing: the current architectures and systems of global logistics are lack of feedback loops that allow for deviation management and corrective and preventive action (CAPA).
  • Customs clearance: for the land based transit to be effective, customs clearance across the entire itinerary needs to be streamlined


Long term benefits


  • enable messaging and information flows between multiple logistics and official bodies across the entire UK – mainland and China-EU transit corridors.
  • This will enable end-to-end visibility of the goods in transit, making continuous location, status and ETA information available to all parties within the organizing units.
  • Electronic pre-clearance of the goods will be enabled, allowing for reduction in cross border formalities and delays.
  • Critically, AEOLIX will enable dynamic route and exception management, to enable shippers and consignees to make faster decision as to what corrective and preventive actions are appropriate.