Partner MJC², Why ePIcenter?

The ePIcenter project started in June 2020. This 3.5 years H2020 project brings together 36 partners across Europe and beyond. Every month we have an ePIcenter partner explaining why they joined the project. In this edition, technology partner MJC² explains why they like to be part of the ePIcenter project!

An interdisciplinary & forward-thinking team

MJC² develops leading-edge real-time logistics planning software and vehicle routing & scheduling algorithms, addressing many sectors including parcels, bulk transport, retail, last-mile & home delivery, construction and multimodal logistics.

Man working port

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ePIcenter project to MJC² is its broad and ambitious scope, and its interdisciplinary team. From a technical point of view the project involves Marine Biology, Advanced Engineering, Social Sciences, Operations Research, Logistics and Transport Research, Economics, Information Technology & Communications, Policy and Climate & Environmental disciplines.

From an industry perspective the consortium includes household names in many sectors of the global supply chain: major ports and multimodal terminals, global logistics companies, high profile shipping and rail operations, leading public sector stakeholders & authorities, and manufacturers of well-known consumer brands and products.

Intermodal transport

These partners are developing innovations in topics such as hyperloop, ship propulsion control, modular containers, autonomous systems, secure logistics data exchange & supply chain visibility, Arctic navigation, logistics optimisation and cetacean movement forecasting. Geographically the consortium spans four continents, and has strong links with other international research initiatives around the World.

Integrated multimodal, low-emission freight transport systems


This wide range of knowledge and competences is needed to achieve ePIcenter's aims. ePIcenter was created in response to the European Commission's call for proposals for an International Cooperation Flagship on integrated multimodal, low-emission freight transport systems and logistics.

Effectively this was a challenge for innovative consortia to propose and develop new solutions and technologies to tackle some of the most pressing problems in global supply chains, such as GHG emissions, congestion and environmental impact.

In addition, the aim is to understand better the fast moving changes in technology, geo-politics and international trade, and how these will affect the European TEN-T network and the flow of freight around the World.

Synchromodal Algorithms

MJC²'s role in ePIcenter is to develop advanced synchromodal algorithms which can cope with the highly complex logistics operations in global supply chains, while responding to increasing pressure from consumers and governments for more sustainable solutions.

Ship in port

Increased use of greener modes of transport, and more effective and efficient use of these modes is of course one of the main aims of ePIcenter. This inevitably means more complexity from a logistics planning perspective. For example a “simple” A-to-B truck movement can be replaced by a combination of (e.g.) truck-barge-truck or truck-rail-truck, or more complex multi-mode combinations. A typical international freight movement may go through many terminals and use many different transport modes and services.

Technically this represents a very big mathematical challenge, while also being very worthwhile to solve, both in terms of environmental benefits and cost savings for the stakeholders involved. When real-world business rules and constraints are included, not to mention the need to respond to real-time events and unforeseen disruptions, this makes for a particularly difficult optimisation problem which is beyond the scope of current technology.