The Port City of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is the second busiest Port in Europe and it attracts and generates freight trips from all over West Europe. The City has road, waterway and rail infrastructure to cope with the demand for freight transport. However, when it comes to road traffic, the city of Antwerp is generally categorized as one of the most congested cities in Europe. The importance of the Port of Antwerp as a hub in Western Europe for freight added to the dense population of the Belgian country makes the road traffic around the city particularly challenging. As the region of Flanders is connected to a well-developed network of waterways network capable of mobilizing freight with reliability and cost-effectiveness.

The Antwerp pilot will test the deployment of the FRONTIER platform along the road corridors that connect the Port of Antwerp. The pilot will test how the resilience of the freight transport network around the City Antwerp can be impacted by using multimodal transport. The Flemish Waterways (DWW), manages and monitors the inland waterway's traffic, while the Flemish Traffic Center monitors the road traffic in the region.

The Challenge

On different occasions, the road network traffic in the City of Antwerp has experienced disruptions and congestion caused by external conditions or the high demand for transport infrastructure. Other modes can come as a solution to alleviate, however, one of the factors hindering freight traffic to shift from road transport to other modes is the scarce system-wide coordination between the different modes of transport.

Traditionally the different traffic centres manage their networks in isolation keeping them away from coordination and use the wider transport infrastructure to deal with disruptions. In a multi-stakeholder environment as in logistics and the supply chain, coordination between the stakeholders is crucial for achieving resilience and efficiency of the system. The Antwerp pilot of FRONTIER plans to use these concepts to analyse how better coordination between the traffic operators can be achieved and how this can lead to a reliable hinterland transport system.

The Antwerp Pilot in FRONTIER will use a combination of cutting-edge agent-based simulation technology, real-time operation data and arbitration heuristics to solve the private conflict of interests among the logistics providers and aim for optimisation at the system level. Once this analysis is done, FRONTIER will identify other challenges in the real-world setting and will provide information on how traffic managers can communicate and coordinate traffic in a better and more sustainable way.

The FRONTIER’s Innovation

FRONTIER aims to bridge the existing gap by:

  1. Developing a collaborative platform allowing stakeholders to share data and collectively implement, test and deliver multimodal traffic management strategies and solutions.
  2. Facilitating the improvements on the resiliency of the network during disruptions by coordinating traffic management between road and waterways transport.
  3. Delivering a solution for logistics operators to increase the reliability of shipments and the seamless flow of freight around the city.
  4. Proposing innovative models to arbitrate conflicts of interests among the users of the network

Relevant outputs

The following outputs are envisaged to be achieved:

  • A roadmap for future freight traffic management applications.
  • An interconnected, network of organizations will be assessed.
  • Arbitration models for dealing with private conflict of interests


Multi-stakeholder network management, collaborative transport planning, multimodal mobility services, innovative operational practices and business models.