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City logistics studies how urban freight distribution can take place in urban areas as well as the strategies that can improve its overall efficiency while mitigating externalities such as congestion and emissions. It includes the provision of services contributing to efficiently managing the movements of goods in cities and providing innovative responses to customer demands.
As such it combines questions on last-mile deliveries and e-commerce, deploying innovations from the automotive industry (e.g. battery electric freight vehicles) or organizing / planning more efficient and collaborative to reduce vehicle kilometers, as well as required (urban) space. This research area focusses both on smarter and more sustainable urban freight transport by bringing together innovations from different domains; i.e. technology (both vehicle technology as well as ICT developments), policy and spatial planning as well as the logistical organization (e.g. the use of shared hubs).
The interest in city logistics is increasing also from a more applied research perspective, as a serious transition is required for the (near) future towards a sustainable (or zero emission) and more autonomous system. My ambition is to contribute to this transition in the development of knowledge (data, logistics concepts, bringing together different parties and disciplines) based on opportunities from innovations outside the field.
TNO contributes to advising and calculating the impacts of in the (Dutch) climate agreement that aims for zero emission city logistics by 2025.
We developed in European projects different solutions directions that contribute to the transition towards a more sustainable city logistics system, such as: FREVUE (implementing electric freight vehicles in city logistics operations), BuyZET (using public procurement as an instrument to stimulate the market for zero emission city logistics) and CITYLAB (where we developed a living lab approach for public-private actions in the domain) that were also used in several (local) projects in Dutch cities and with Dutch partners (e.g. strategy for Rotterdam, but also the governmental logistics hub in The Hague. Currently, we have developed a living lab in which zero emission logistics solutions are developed, tested and monitored together with cities and logistics partners (CILOLAB).
Besides, we examine innovations in the city logistics system, such as possibilities (and barriers) for a more self-organizing logistics system (SOLiD), the options innovations from last-mile logistics solutions can have in other (related domains) such as construction logistics and logistics systems enabling a more extramural care system (where homedeliveries are essential).
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