Novelog UCT

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Economy & Demographics

Based on previous evidence, there is a strong relationship between economic development and freight activity. GDP increases are expected to lead to more freight movements.

Being a significant part of transport costs, it can influence the level of freight activity.

A high share of urban population is expected to lead to a regional logistics system that is more focused on its urban distribution part

A higher percentage of over-65 years old inhabitants is likely to lead to the need for increased number of home deliveries

Average household size has been decreasing in Europe since the 1980s. Smaller households are likely to increase freight activity as these tend to consume more per capita than larger ones and provide less consolidation opportunities for urban deliveries.

Evidence shows that small (e.g. independent) retail establishments are more likely to generate more freight activity, however with smaller vehicles than larger establishments.

Ecology & Social Responsibility

Consumers require that both the products and the way these reach them, are environmentally friendly. This places pressure on urban freight transport at the levels of assets used and delivery processes.

Consumers require proof that all employees and subcontractors involved in the procurement, production and delivery of the products they receive, have been treated in an ethical manner. These place pressure on urban freight transport at the informational and at the physical delivery level.

Local sourcing has been related mainly to the food sector and reflects the cases where production, processing, trade and consumption of food occurs in a defined reduced geographical area (e.g. 20 to 100 km radius). Local sourcing, among others, may lead to an increase of the frequency of urban freight trips and to an increase also of. It can also lead to an increased share of short supply chains (i.e. direct contact between producer and consumer).

Consumers require products that are reusable and recyclable. These place pressure on urban freight transport at the informational and at the physical delivery level, especially in terms of reverse logistics.

Logistics Solutions

Green delivery solutions involve the response of the LSPs to the consumers' requirement for environmentally-friendly products. Green delivery solutions may include: use of electric vehicles, use of cargo-bikes, unattended locker systems, etc.

This involves shared transportation, shared warehousing, and shared infrastructure (including public transport means for freight deliveries). Collaboration can lead to increased vehicle load factors and decreased freight burden in the city.

Examples of new business models include: cases that incorporate citizens as part of the last-mile delivery process (e.g. crowdsourcing initiatives such as 'Wal-Mart to Go', or DHL's 'MyWays' services); or cases for on-demand delivery services (Postmates, EasyVan); or cases on new businesses providing information on UFT aspects (e.g. environmental impact assessment & verification platforms)

New Technologies

IoT can be considered as the networked connection of physical objects that are not computers in the classic sense. Application in city logistics might involve: enhanced inventory monitoring, improved consignment tracing & exception management, improved product status alerting, smarter energy management at distribution facilities, remote access to stores for night delivery, etc.

Understanding UFT and being able to anticipate its evolution and act accordingly relies on the availability of data at a large scale (Volume), to be combined from various forms, structured and unstructured (Variety) that has to be verifiable (Veracity) and can be gathered, processed and interpreted as these occur (Velocity). Big data can enable extraction of previously unknown patterns to anticipate demand, improve efficiency and enhance level of service.

Although the urban environment is quite challenging for driverless cars there might cases where delivery vehicles might prove feasible in the future. An example could be loading of public parcel stations by using driverless vehicles. Drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) fall in this category as well.

Augmented Reality (AR) is the expansion of physical reality by adding layers of computer-generated information to the real environment. Applications in a city logistics setting might involve: displaying information on the delivery vehicle's windshield (e.g. real-time traffic data, cargo status, delivery instructions); displaying information on a specific parcel by looking at it and guiding the driver to find the delivery location (combined with wearable devices, e.g. smart glasses); etc.

Consumer Requirements

Consumers are increasingly more demanding in terms of customer service. As a response to these demands a number of major retailers have already starting introducing same day (or even next hour) delivery services in selected cities.

Consumers require that they are fully aware of how the information they provide is handled and by whom and they want to be reassured that privacy issues respected. This might raise additional requirements on the informational infrastructure of LSPs

Consumers require that they are provided with information regarding the social & environmental impact of the products they purchase/receive. They also require that this information is easily accessible and covers the complete life-cycle of a product. As a response to these, new information platforms and information-driven business might emerge.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement No 636626

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