Automated vehicles, rolling stock and vessels, as well as related transhipment automated processes, are developed independently within the various transport modes and sectors. This creates gaps and disconnections in the actual use within the logistics operations, missing concrete new operational models and opportunities for end-to-end logistics, which may support adoption and contributing to system integration and decarbonisation.
Automation will change the way goods flow across all modes (possibly encouraging modal shifts to coastal shipping modes/smaller vessel fleets, inland waterways transport, railway transport, or alternative road transport usages) and is not well explored in terms of opportunities for the logistics supply chains and enabling increased usage of vehicles and infrastructures. A high level of operational automation can be reached in terminals and hubs (e.g. node-to-node operations undertaken in inland hubs, multimodal depots, logistics terminals, freight consolidation facilities), which offer controlled environments and repeatable processes but also in the operational domain of processes occurring in those places.