The current challenges in road freight transport are numerous. In addition to the fact that there is already a shortage of between 60,000 and 80,000 truck drivers in Germany today, the demand for transportation continues to rise. One indication of this is the truck toll mileage index, which increased by 1.6% last year alone, according to the Federal Statistical Office. 

The STAFFEL project researches and develops how to make intermodal “staggered transport” reliable and efficient. On an internet platform, freight forwarders can advertise long-distance routes, which will be broken down into sub-routes with the help of AI algorithms and then brokered to different freight carriers via a matching algorithm. Furthermore, it should be possible to post free driving capacities on a driving time marketplace so that these can be brokered between freight forwarders and carriers based on real-time data (e.g., traffic, infrastructure, IoT, telematics) and assigned to the legs of the journey. 

To ensure a secure transfer of trailers across forwarders and to prevent cargo theft or damage, the project will develop keyless and remotely controllable IoT kingpins and cargo locks for the trailer. The prototype implementation of the locks and platform will be validated in two field trials. In the first field trial, regional transport companies of the “Rheinisches Revier” will be networked via a driving time marketplace. Exchange stations will be established in the second field trial, and staggered traffic will be tested in practice. 

The aim is to identify the effects, potential, and challenges of truck freight transport, prepare for Europe-wide implementation, and take standardization into account. 

Under the leadership of the consortium leader FIR e.V. at RWTH Aachen University, the project kick-off took place on 08.12.2021 in the Smart Logistics cluster on the RWTH Aachen Campus with the project partners MANSIO, PEM Motion, and DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.. After the welcome by the funding agency, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the contents and sub-goals of the individual work packages were presented as well as the tasks and areas of responsibility of the respective consortium partners.