Call for Contributions

Download Call for Contributions


The future of the global freight and logistics industry will be shaped during a 3-day conference at Shenzhen University in Shenzhen starting 17th June, 2020 (18th November, 2020).  

The Physical Internet concept aims to get freight flows and logistics services as accessible and connected as information and services are over internet in both global and last mile. The Physical Internet (PI, Π) has opened a paradigm-breaking field encompassing the hyperconnectivity and interoperability of smart logistics networks, transportation systems, manufacturing systems and supply chains, enabling seamless open asset sharing and flow consolidation on a massive scale. It aims to transform the way physical objects are moved, deployed, realized, supplied, designed and used all around the world so as to improve by an order-of-magnitude the overall induced performance in terms of economical, environmental and societal efficiency and sustainability.

Aim of the conference

IPIC 2020 aims to provide an open forum for researchers, innovators and practitioners to introduce leading edge concepts and methodologies; to review the state-of-the-art technologies and latest projects, and to identify critical issues and challenges for future Physical Internet induced research, innovation and implementation.
It will be the first time for Physical Internet conference holding in an Asian country. China is experiencing rapid economic growth with a strong impact on the logistics market. It has become the largest logistics market in the world. We believe that China will be a fertile ground for Physical Internet research and innovation. IPIC 2020 will build a great communication channel between China and Europe with Physical Internet.

Conference topics

Conference topics include interconnected freight transport, logistics and supply, modularization, handling, vehicles and transhipment technologies, ports and hubs in the PI, last mile & city logistics, omnichannel & e-commerce logistics, systems and technologies for interconnected Logistics: 3D printing, Internet of things, machine learning, augmented reality, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, new communication networks enabling interconnected logistics, autonomous logistics operations and systems: autonomous transport, drones, mobile logistics, robotics; manufacturing networks and the PI, business models for open & interconnected logistics, PI Impacts, PI Fundamentals and Constituents, PI Implementation and Governance, PI Modelling and Simulation.

Three types of submission are considered and accepted for presentation: 

  • Abstract
  • Poster
  • Full Paper

Submissions* must be made on-line via

Please note that you must first register for an EasyChair account to be able to access the above link. First-time users, please visit EasyChair's "How to make a new submission" for an overview of the submission system.

*All submitted papers will be evaluated with regards to their suitability for the conference, originality and technical soundness.

PPT-Video* must be submitted on-line via

Please name the video file as "title+author+paper number", videos without papers only need to follow the format "title+author".

Please open the file "IPIC 2020 Video", and upload your video or download the video you want to watch.

Here we provide a video recording method, but not limited to this method.   "How to make a ppt-video?"

*All submitted video will be evaluated with regards to their suitability for the conference, originality and technical soundness.

Timetable and Deadlines

  • Special Session proposal due                                   

Jan. 31, 2020 (Sep. 30 2020)   

  • Abstracts/Posters/Full Papers (with Presentation Video) submission due
Feb. 29, 2020 (Oct. 31 2020)
  • Open for paper and presentation preview           
Mar. 15, 2020 (Nov. 10-17 2020)
  • Conference
Jun. 17-19, 2020 (Nov. 18-20 2020)

Download the Templates:

Deadline Feb 29, 2020(Oct. 31 2020)
For contribution abstracts

For full papers/posters:


The contributions may be related, yet not limited, to the following topics:


Interconnected freight transport, logistics and supply networks

o   Open and interconnected transportation, storage & distribution

o Cross-chain control and collaboration, interconnected cockpits and control towers.

o Logistics networks performance, impact assessment and resiliency.

o Logistics asset sharing, flow consolidation and load optimization.

o Interconnected ports and hubs.

o Synchromodality

o Smart hyperconnected inventory deployment and management.

o Open and interconnected logistics services, cloud logistics services.

Modularization, handling, vehicles and transhipment technologies

o Transport vehicles, drones and AGVs for interconnected logistics.

o Handling and transhipment autonomous operations and systems.

o Packaging container design and engineering;

o Modularization and standardization;

o Smart, active, intelligent containers, boxes and logistics units;

Last mile & city logistics

o Interconnected city logistics,

o Physical Internet & e-commerce

o Omnichannel & e-commerce logistics

o City hubs

o City regulations in support of physical internet

o Fulfilment platforms, crowdsourced delivery and transportation.

o Modularization, boxes and handling units for city delivery.

o Autonomous logistics systems

o Management of Returns (incl. Consumers behaviour)

Systems and technologies for interconnected Logistics

3D printing, Internet of things, machine learning, augmented reality, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, new communication networks enabling interconnected logistics.

o Autonomous logistics operations and systems: autonomous transport, drones, mobile logistics, robotics…

o Supply chain visibility: tracking, tracing, sensing, event management and prediction, asset monitoring.

o Novel ICT platforms enabling interconnected logistics and access to cloud logistics services.

o Digital ecosystems and information sharing for freight transport and logistics (e-freight,  e-booking, e-CMR…)

Manufacturing networks and the Physical Internet

o Modular and agile production, manufacturing and distribution networks.

o Physical Internet responsive to Industry 4.0 paradigm.

o Customer centric manufacturing and distribution.

Business models for Open & Interconnected logistics

o   Business models, revenue models and profit models in hyperconnected logistics

o   Liability and insurance responsibilities.

o   Hyperconnected business model innovation.

Business models and cases to build networks of networks.

Business models promoting openness of proprietary logistics networks and resources.

Physical Internet Impacts  

o   Contributions to COP 21 emissions objectives.

o   Energy reduction and decarbonization of freight transport and logistics.

o   End-to-end carbon footprint measurement, indicators and assessment of (policy/industry) practices, etc.

o   Implications for the circular economy: PI as part of the circular economy, waste avoidance and resource efficiency.

o   Implications for congestion and infrastructure.

o  Other societal impacts

Physical Internet Fundamentals and Constituents:

o Physical Internet frameworks & protocols

o Efficiency, sustainability, resilience, security, adaptability, agility of the Physical Internet

o PI network design.

o Liability and insurance models in the PI

o Container and logistics units design & engineering.

o Design, engineering, planning and operation of handling, storage, transportation technologies, systems, facilities and infrastructures in the Physical Internet.

o Mobility web, distribution web, realization web, supply web and service web

o PI hub design & engineering: Hub definition, services and publications

o Physical Internet access.

o What can PI learn from other networks of networks: Telecom, Postal, Energy, Digital Internet?

o Decision and support models in the Physical Internet

Physical Internet Implementation and Governance:

o Physical Internet implementation drivers and issues

o Stakeholders and their roles in the Physical internet

o Stakeholder incentives for PI adoption and implementation

o Negotiation, collaboration and conflict resolution within Physical Internet

o   Social innovation and new ways of working in the Physical Internet

o   Impact of regulatory innovation on PI

o   Impact of PI induced innovation on regulation, taxation and duties

o   Design of the Physical Internet governance structure and processes

o   Physical Internet Roadmaps

o   Mindset, collaboration and openness, behavioural aspects.

PI Modelling and Simulation  

o   Novel descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics;

o   PI modelling, simulation,

o   Optimization and gaming approaches for Physical Internet

o Qualitative and quantitative methodologies for studying proposed or existing PI induced systems, processes, phenomena & business models

Special Issue on International Journal of Production Economics

Close submission of manuscript:

   30 November 2020

Completion of the first-round review:

   28 February 2021

Completion of the second-round review:

   31 May 2021

More information


Special Issue on Industrial Management & Data Systems

Submission deadline for all papers:

   31 October 2020

More information


Special Issue on Sustainability

Submission deadline for manuscript:

   31 October 2020

More information


Conference Sponsors

IPIC2020 Sponsors

Supported by

Previous Conferences

About IPIC

The IPIC conference series supports the Physical Internet Initiative.

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For general information about the conference, please use our contact form or the contact below:

  • Xuan YANG Tel:+86 15899873204 
  • IPIC 2020, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, CHINA