Secure and Reliable Operations through Digital Logistics

Research and Development in Material Handling Engineering and Systems

Establishing an Urban Mini-Consolidation Center (MD-E4)

In an alliance with several research partners, the city of Magdeburg has been on its way to becoming an “Energy Efficient City and Model City for Renewable Energies (MD-E4)” since mid-2011. In this five-year project, the Fraunhofer IFF is working on, among other things, establishing a mini-consolidation center near downtown areas, which will facilitate the use of swap bodies for downtown deliveries.

Swap Bodies for Electric Vehicles in City Logistics

Real users in the project will deliver shipments with 3.5 t electric vehicles. What is more, the load carrier, swap body, will be used as an extra energy storage system for the vehicle for the first time. Combined use of the swap body and the electric vehicle generates a variety of benefits for city logistics:

  • Low-volume electric vehicles make deliveries in urban low-emission zones.
  • This reduces CO2 and NOx emissions.
  • Large volume commercial traffic is eliminated in downtown areas.
  • Swap bodies reliably transport freight and power.
  • Complete shipments can be delivered in new ways (dispensing with the two-person rule).
  • Commercial traffic can be shifted to times with less traffic.
  • Swap bodies function as quick battery change systems and range extenders.
  • Smart power logistics theoretically extend ranges unlimitedly.

A smart dynamic route optimization system additionally boosts the efficiency of delivery runs in city neighborhoods. It compare the current traffic situation and the latest information on delivery and pickup orders with the battery’s current charge and dynamically optimizes delivery schedules accordingly.