OpenTripModel: Sharing data as the new norm in the logistics chain

OpenTripModel: Sharing data as the new norm in the logistics chain

The Hague, september 2017

TLN, evofenedex and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment are joining forces. These three parties are embracing the open source logistical data sharing model known as OpenTripModel, devised and developed by Simacan, which allows public and private data to be exchanged in the logistics sector. This will significantly enhance the efficiency of logistical processes, such as the handling at loading and unloading areas. The OpenTripModel thus contributes to a better flow of traffic, improved quality of life and enhanced traffic safety in busy city centres. On the instructions of the three parties, the foundation Stichting Uniforme Transport Code  is now going to focus its efforts on accelerating the use and further development of the OpenTripModel together with the logistics sector, for maximum impact on city centres.

The supermarket chain Albert Heijn took the initiative back in 2014, together with Simacan, supplier of online traffic and transport information services, to begin sharing data between Albert Heijn and various transport providers. They did this with the aim of organising logistics processes more efficiently in order to reduce adverse effects such as emissions and nuisance. As part of the Optimising Use government investment programme, pilots were conducted over the past year in four large cities to test the expansion of the OpenTripModel for digital exchange of delivery windows and environmental zones in particular.

And this is the result: OTM is a simple, licence-free and open data model that allows shippers, transport providers, logistics service providers, IT service providers, car manufacturers and government authorities to exchange online and real-time logistics and traffic data. This means that the OTM is a data sharing model that serves as the basis in various logistics operations for (new) applications and services with various logistical and traffic-related objectives.

Open source

In essence, the OTM provides a common language for the sharing of logistics and traffic data. This language is open source, which means that anyone who has an interest in the language may use and improve it free of charge. The OTM’s language offers the logistics sector the opportunity to share data, sector-wide and with road managers, which have not been shared up to this point. Examples include information regarding current road works, events, delivery windows, loading and unloading areas, environmental zones and – from the perspective of quality of life – desirable and less desirable routes. In this way, the entire logistics sector can improve the efficiency, sustainability and environmental awareness of its distribution processes, as emphasised by Machiel van de Kuijl, Director of evofenedex. “Most shippers work with a large number of transport providers. The OTM language enables an integrated insight to be obtained across the chain of transport providers.  If you know when to expect a particular transport provider at your branch or depot,  scheduling loading and loading becomes a lot more efficient”, according to  Van de Kuijl.   

Scaling up and expanding

For the enterprise organisation Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN), the benefits of the OpenTripModel are clear. Director Jan Boeve:“We are a great advocate of sharing data and of paperless transport. The OTM enhances the options for efficient exchange between market participants, among themselves and with the government, meaning that public and private data are involved. This will enable our members to improve (real-time) scheduling, leading to less time lost and fewer links with various systems.”  

Stichting Uniforme Transportcode (SUTC)

It was precisely because of the countless benefits for transport providers, shippers, road managers and IT service providers that the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, TLN and evofenedex decided to bring OTM under the auspices of the Stichting Uniforme Transport Code (SUTC), an existing foundation in the sector. SUTC has received a new impetus from the Neutraal Logistiek Informatie Platform (NLIP) of the Topsector Logistiek to start managing various logistics standards and to further their development.  The focus now lies on efficient and effective scaling up and expansion on a national and international scale with more IT suppliers, shippers, transport providers and logistics service providers.  Simacan’s Director Rob Schuurbiers has full confidence in the transfer of OTM to the foundation. “We are proud that our ideas have been embraced by two of the leading sector organisations in the world of logistics and transport. I am confident that this will allow the OTM to progress and become a widely supported current norm.”

Talking Traffic

The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is pleased with this advancement towards the more sustainable and efficient structuring of the logistics chain, says Jan Bert Dijkstra, Director of Optimising Use and the Talking Traffic Partnership.  “It’s a thorn in the side for many municipalities: trucks that are loading or unloading and blocking the city centre,” according to Dijkstra. “Thanks to the OpenTripModel, transport providers are provided with the most up-to-date information about environmental zones, delivery windows, available loading and unloading areas, etcetera. And if transport providers share their routes and stops with road managers, they can, for example, respond with the help of the intelligent traffic control units that are currently being installed throughout the Netherlands by the Talking Traffic Partnership. It is with good reason that OTM is expressly included in the Partnership. Ultimately, it’s all about making optimal use of all developments around data, connectivity and self-driving. The OTM is a prime example in this respect. It makes a direct contribution from the logistics chain to an automated future that is clean, smart and safe.”