The CSIR’s Smart Logistics cluster addresses challenges and opportunities associated with transport and freight logistics; transport equipment; transport infrastructure; and passenger transport services in support of different industrial clusters. By improving the ease of doing business through enabling industrial sectors from the perspective of logistics and supply chain management, the overall competitiveness of the economy can be improved.
A digitised, connected and robotised logistics system, including the underlying infrastructure, has the potential to maximise the efficiency and productivity associated with transport and logistics for a spatially inefficient country such as South Africa, with raw materials nodes located disproportionately far from areas of value addition and consumption. In addition to traditional transport engineering and management sciences, such a system requires the development and application of new capabilities in human enhancement technologies, advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and satellite technology.
End-to-end logistics: The CSIR invests in the development of methods and technology to enhance the detection, prediction and management of the multimodal flow of consignments in the supply chain.
Efficient and safe passenger transport: The CSIR invests in the development of methods and technology to facilitate efficient and safe movement of people in the transport network. This is done in collaboration with role players that include public transport operators, automotive industry and transport authorities.
Intelligent ports: The CSIR’s work focuses on transforming port terminals to ‘intelligent ports’, in which operational technology and information technology are integrated to model operational and infrastructure design alternatives. This includes the development of systems that enable real-time recommendations and control for optimum berthing, planning, landside operations, and manpower scheduling and quayside equipment.
Smart trucks: The CSIR’s work in this area of specialisation supports the freight transport industry by providing electro-mechanical and digital analytical solutions for productive operation of heavy vehicles.
Smart roads: The CSIR is contributing to the development of context appropriate road building materials and sensor technology to reduce the life-cycle costs of roads. In this regard, the CSIR has invested in world-class laboratory infrastructure and personnel. Much work is also been carried out to improve climate resilience of road infrastructure.