“How to facilitate the transition towards sustainable urban logistics?” workshop results

Recording: https://app.entrance-platform.eu/knowledge-hub/training.html

The online workshop was jointly organized by the DUT partnership and the ENTRANCE project consortium in December 2022. The workshop hosted representatives from city councils, industry, academia, and researchers to discuss priorities for city logistics and actions needed to facilitate the transition towards sustainable urban logistics and had 84 participants in the workshop.  

The workshop consisted of presentations, online surveys, and group discussions. Each group consisted of 8 – 12 participants to enable deeper discussions. The results of this workshop will provide evidence for DUT partnership for designing and executing their programmes. 

Here are some interesting questions, topics, and insights that were discussed: 

  • Which are the main challenges and barriers in the implementation and enforcement of zero-emission zones from your experience?  
  • What are the key opportunities and drivers for the implementation of zero-emission vehicles and solutions requirements?  
  • Where do you see the biggest need for innovation & demonstration in this field?    
  • What are the key drivers for the implementation of collaborative logistics solutions? 
  • Today, we can choose fast delivery for our e-commerce but we cannot choose the most sustainable delivery. What kind of innovative solutions and demonstrations do we need for engaging consumers to facilitate zero-emission urban delivery in the closest future?  
  • Where do you see the biggest need for innovation and demonstration in data sharing or anything to help us in reaching zero-emission urban freight transport? 

Some interesting outcomes and take-home points from the discussion groups:

Group 1:

The following innovative solutions and demonstrations are considered needed to engage consumers to facilitate zero-emission urban delivery:

  • Establishment of urban distribution hubs.
  • Further set-up of push and pull incentives, such as tax schemes for the retailers and couriers, and making it mandatory to consolidate cargo.
  • Need to engage the consumers and look at the solutions from their perspective.

Group 2:

Challenges for Zero Emission Urban Freight:

  • Lack of political will and public support -> an important topic that needs to be tackled in the early stage and strategically.
  • Often it seems that every city is doing its own thing and that there is little exchange, sharing, and learning -> more of that is needed.
  • Clean energy production and sufficient capacity for distribution are the indisputable foundation of all e-mobility policies. Many cities in Europe lack adequate infrastructure in this area (including charging infrastructure).
  • Very little data on the rather rough business model of delivery and logistics (companies use gig workers and subcontractors and have/share little data on their practices).

Group 3:

Logistics operation, consumer engagement, and data acquisition:

  • Engaging consumers: biggest effect in the check-out area is standardizing; ideally consumers should not have the possibility to NOT choose zero emission delivery. Which is very difficult since it means going away from the standard choice that everybody is used to. One barrier would be ongoing contracts that make it impossible to switch transport providers.
  • Data sharing in Antwerp: bring different companies together every month to share problems and opportunities -> group effect;
  • Data sharing and giving up data is a big difficulty in general. The owner of certain information (e.g. tracking information) will not give up on the competitor.

Group 4:

Zero Emission Urban Freight:

  • Zero-emission urban freight transport (including zero-emission zone) is not only about urban freight but also about livable cities, quality of life, and overall economic growth of a city.
  • A city needs to support local businesses to maintain its competitiveness level of the city.
  • Urban freight has been largely impacted by growing e-commerce and change in consumer behaviour. More research into consumer behaviours and how to influence consumers and e-commerce providers for achieving zero emissions in urban freight is urgently needed.

The full and detailed report of the workshop can be found on the ENTRANCE platform for FREE: www.entrance-platform.eu  



You can find the recording of the workshop HERE.