Loading and unloading trucks is a time-consuming process that is mostly carried out manually. Truck drivers spend a significant amount of time every year waiting at warehouses to load and unload. For shippers these processes are seen as a necessary evil. VIL is working out the project ‘OptiCharge’ to see how automation can make loading and unloading more efficient.

status: Running | theme: Digital transformation | type: Regional

The project ‘OptiCharge’ looks for more efficient loading and unloading processes through automation for both shippers and transporters. The complete process of loading and unloading will be analyzed at the participating companies (including related processes like pre-sorting, checks, storage,…).

The different kinds of automation available today and state-of-the-art solutions in the pipeline will be examined. Furthermore, a tool will be developed to calculate the advantages and feasability (ROI) of the existing solutions and cases, in order to match supply and demand. A selection of positive business cases will lead to a practice test.


  • lower transportation costs (fewer waiting lines)
  • optimal deployment of manpower and assets
  • lower personnel expenses
  • optimal use of warehouse space
  • fewer damages

Specific activities

  • to catalogue current systems and best practices
  • market analysis of innovative solutions at research institutions and universities
  • to research possible applications and conditions in multiple sectors
  • to map out the current problems and points of improvement 
  • to provide an overview of the different possible solutions at the participating companies
  • to calculate the ROI
  • to implement a proof of concept at one of the participating companies
  • to analyze the test results


Start: November 2018
Total lead time: 28 months

Participating companies

Thirtheen companies: Atlas Copco Airpower, Barry Callebaut, Blue Projects, Group GTS, H.Essers, Ontex, Scania, Spadel, Stelrad Radiator Group, Tenneco, Vario Food Group, Volvo and Yusen Logistics (Benelux).


Project partner
Universiteit Antwerpen


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About VIL

Koninklijkelaan 76 - B-2600 Berchem
T: +32 3 229 05 00
E: info@vil.be
VAT: BE 0480.185.038
IBAN: BE59 0014 0122 5826

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