Financing Opportunities

Potential of the Physical Internet

Courtesy of Waterborne member

Ongoing research efforts show that the translation of the working principles of the Digital Internet to the routing of freight, thus creating the Physical Internet (PI), has the potential to be a real game-changer. In the PI world freight travels from hub to hub in an open network rather than from origin to destination directly. Each parcel is routed automatically and at each section it is bundled for efficiency. In the PI network of networks many (if not all) transport and logistics services would be accessible on demand to all users.

This will however require the successful integration of many innovative concepts and non-the-least the mental-shift to adopt a very different governance structure. The Internet of Things for example, which could link every future container, load unit or parcel to the internet, can be considered a pre-requisite for the Physical Internet to work as there will be an increased need to track all goods in a freight environment lacking a fixed and known transport route. The main challenge is to model a future Physical Internet network topology and assess the benefits it could generate in terms of carbon footprint, throughput times and cost reductions. Additionally the concept of the Physical Internet, already identified by ALICE, needs to be detailed into a strategic and operational vision which has the capability to get industry-wide endorsement of all stakeholders.

General information

Potential of the Physical Internet
Topic Identifier
Types of Action
RIA Research and Innovation action


Publication date
14 October 2015
Deadline Model
Two stage
Planned opening date
20 September 2016
26 January 2017 17:00
2nd stage Deadline
19 October 2017 17:00

For further information


c/o SEA Europe, Rue de la Loi, 67 (4th floor), Brussels B-1000, Belgium

Tel. +32 2 230 2791

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