Hands-on Testing of Last Mile Concepts
Transportation Research Procedia
Since 1995 the freight transport performance within Europe has increased annually by 1.2% and is expected to grow further over the coming decades. Being the sources and sinks of transport activities, Europe's cities are strongly affected by the resulting undesirable effects of transportation. This applies in particular to North West Europe (NWE), one of the most urban regions in Europe. NWE therefore stands in urgent need of solutions for efficient urban freight logistics. Focusing on the last
... ile of freight deliveries the INTERREG IVB NWE project LaMiLo (Last Mile Logistics) addressed this issue. The project promoted Urban Consolidation Centres (UCCs) as they allow and encourage transport consolidation as well as modal shift. Decoupling the last mile at the city borders, large vehicles are used for bundled, long haul transports outside the city whilst sustainable transport means are used inside. In the knowledge that UCC attempts with huge government subsidies have been made several times before but rarely succeeded, the core of the LaMiLo project was to enable environment for UCC operations that accomplish a sustainable last mile and can as well be transformed in successful business models. Thereto, UCC concepts were operationalised and implemented in a number of pilots in metropolitan areas and cities all around NWE: Paris: A UCC was field-tested to which freight was brought by truck and afterwards delivered by cargo bikes. Netherlands: Central hubs were put into operation to streamline the home delivery of parcels. Thereto, a Freight Circle service was launched in the cities of Nijmegen and Maastricht which used e-bikes and enabled customer-specific delivery times. London: A UCC was set up to bundle goods for the public sector which were destined for the boroughs of Camden and its partners Enfield and Waltham. Brussels: A UCC was launched at the Port of Brussels offering warehouse services and deliveries to retailers in the city. The key results gained from the studies primarily include the demonstration of UCCs as possible last mile solutions. Beyond their economic performance, their environmental effects as well as their social impacts were evaluated. Exemplary results include that all the pilots contributed towards emission reduction and total distance travelled through city centres and residential areas. Gained best practice and lessons learnt about the examined UCC concepts were discussed and shared at transnational level to encourage relating solutions for further cities.