Russell D. Meller, Ph.D.

Physical Internet Initiative


“I claim that the current logistics and distribution system is not sustainable ... economically, environmentally, or socially.”

    -- Benoit Montreuil, Father of the Physical Internet


With that claim, Ben Montreuil from the University of Laval (Quebec, Canada) launched a full-scale assault on the current way of distributing goods worldwide.  The result is something we call the Physical Internet.


A short “definition” of the Physical Internet is that it will merge computing with modern logistics by standardizing modular containers and sharing resources among companies.  Think “eBay” for logistics so that we ship less air and reduce the total truck miles driven and the energy consumed in the distribution of goods.  And by using standardized, modular and intelligent containers with new logistics protocols and business models, the Physical Internet will produce a collaborative, highly-distributed, and highly-leveraged logistics system.  These innovations will have a direct, positive impact on consumers because everything we buy has to be shipped somewhere, and if that transportation can be carried out more efficiently, everybody wins.


Through CELDi, NSF made the first U.S. research award on the PI to a team I am leading.  Here is our project website detailing our research team and more about our project to establish the logistics system efficiency gain of the PI.


Our project is part of a larger Physical Internet Initiative.

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Physical Internet