Collaboration in the supply chain and Logistics innovation

The 2009 Supply Chain Study of the World Economic Forum shows that 24% of all means of freight transport in Europe travel empty, that if not empty the average load factor is only 57% and that overall efficiency is no more than 43%. The estimated annual loss amounts to 160 billion Euro! Clearly a problem that needs to be tackled

That is why the European Union makes a great effort to achieve more cooperation and innovation in the logistics sector. Freight flow bundling, backhauling and smart planned roundtrips are possibilities to improve capacity utilization. Collaboration between shippers is expected to result in larger (joint) freight volumes, as a result making modal shifts (from road to rail or inland waterways) economically viable. The advantages of collaboration are self-evident. Increasing load factors, reduction of the number of empty means of transport and stimulation of carriage by rail or barge clearly have positive effects on GHG emissions and infrastructural congestion. Besides, considerable savings on freight costs can be achieved. 

Due to the current technological possibilities cooperation in the supply chain is no longer just virtual reality. IT-solutions to collect and match supply chain data and subsequently bundle freight flows in a smart and efficient way are nowadays available.  

Kneppelhout & Korthals Lawyers contributes to logistics collaboration and innovation with a dedicated multidisciplinary team of lawyers specialized in the legal aspects of horizontal and vertical cooperation in logistics. From a legal perspective logistics collaboration is rather complicated.  It is innovative for sure, takes place in a slippery environment of necessary trust on the one hand and otherwise clear competition. It touches upon many specialist areas of the law such as contract law, (international) transport law, private international law, IT, intellectual property and privacy law, and last but certainly not least (European) competition law. Kneppelhout & Korthals Lawyers has the expertise and is dedicated to all these areas of the law. Enthusiastic and motivated as it is, the team has the will power to rise to legal challenges, contribute to innovative projects and really add value combining and sharing its knowledge.   

Already from 2010 to 2014 Kneppelhout & Korthals Lawyers with 17 other partners, including inter alia HIDC, Procter & Gamble, Dinalog, Giventis and Tri-vizor,  participated as a project partner in the EU subsidized CO3 project (Collaboration Concepts for Comodality. See The CO3 project to a large extent contributed to the current  positive sentiment, realizing an important mental shift in only three years’ time. Still, CO3 mainly aimed at the development of theoretical business models and gain sharing formula. 

The growing sense that a real breakthrough could only be realized once actual examples of collaboration in the supply chain were positively validated in daily practice made the European Commission decide to make a large funding available to a market-oriented project under the new funding program Horizon 2020 and to grant this subsidy to the consortium of 31 parties which proposed the NexTrust-project  (Building sustainable logistics through trusted collaborative networks across the entire supply chain) (

Kneppelhout & Korthals again joined this leading project as a consortium partner. We are a member of the NexTrust Coordination Team, render multidisciplinary legal support as a neutral sounding board and legal knowledge provider, carry out various studies and contribute to dissemination. NexTrust started May 2015 and will run for 42 months. The backbone of the project is formed by la large number of pilot cases. Expectations are high and repeatability and scalability of the NexTrust pilot cases will be key success factors. The idea after all is that market participants will follow up on the tested pilots in the NexTrust project.

Kneppelhout & Korthals Lawyers is involved in various other national and  international collaboration projects initiated by branch organizations and private companies.

Click here to download the official NexTrust flyer.