Maritime transport thinking has traditionally been synonymous with sea transportation. Focusing the attention on intermodal maritime logistics may offer greater benefits to shipping companies and industry. This will enable them to extend their thinking in line with developments seen in industrial and logistics developments in general, but will require new competence, methods and system support taking care of the shipping context to be developed. The KMB research project sets out to develop the new knowled ge, data structures, methods, techniques and decision-support system prototypes needed when preparing to put the maritime logistics course in operation.
Innovation and the growing degree of integration in maritime logistics require a systematic approach t o structuring knowledge about the key drivers and requirements involved. However, the complexity of logistics chains and their sub-systems is such that research needs to focus not only on the total chain, but also on particular parts of it. Improving the whole system requires work to be done on sub-systems while the effects on other parts of the chain need to be recognised. The process must also encompass the development of particular tools and methodologies. The KMB project comprises two decision support research areas regarding the maritime logistics chain:
-Comparative analysis (Cost, time, security, robustness, environmental issues)
-Optimization based decision support (Design, coordination and operation)
Historically, creativity and innovation have b een trademarks of Norwegian shipping. However, shipping is a global business where continuous innovation and improvement are essential to remain competitive and to maintain market shares and profitability. Therefore it is necessary to strengthen the Norwe gian maritime cluster through extended and improved system knowledge and development of maritime services that can be controlled from Norway. The KMB project will give valuable contributions to this development.