Strategy, Innovation & Leadership

Webinar: 'Improving city logistics adds value'

October 9, 2014 | 2 min read

Logistics to and from cities is being exacerbated by a growing population and growing demand for logistics. Tom van Woensel conducts research on city logistics. During a webinar on October 9, he will discuss the usefulness of the research on urban distribution and how to improve logistics in the city.

Image: © Nationale Beeldbank

Why is the research on urban distribution important?

"Research shows that 70 to 80 percent of the world population will live in cities in 2020. This demographic development will cause these environments to undergo development as well. Urban distribution concerns the logistics of services and goods to and from the city and the methods of organizing it in a good way. This ranges from supplying supermarkets to construction traffic, and includes the shipment of online packages to private individuals. It involves the manner in which you arrange logistics within a small space. Congestion or emissions issues must also be taken into account.

A large part of the logistic costs is incurred in the so-called last meter, the meter leading to the customer. If this customer is increasingly going to live in the city or going to order online, urban distribution will become increasingly important.

More and more options for efficient urban distribution

Is the subject considered important?

"The issue increasingly appears on the strategic research agenda in the Netherlands and various regions, and it is also being given more attention in Europe.

In any case, more and more options for efficient urban distribution are in the works, such as the Cargohopper in the Netherlands. But it is still not clear which of these options will be best.

Companies that are engaged in the improvement of city logistics can add a great deal of value, and not just financial value. They may obtain value in terms of image or in the area of sustainability."

What initiatives exist?

"There are many initiatives in this area, but not all options are equally successful. An example of such an initiative is provided by the city distribution centers, which resemble urban hubs from which logistics is controlled. A number of successful examples exist, such as the Binnenstadsservice. But others are not so successful. Another example is the Cargotram in Amsterdam, which employs a tram to deliver freight. This initiative has yielded a number of very fine media moments, but not yet anything further.

Urban distribution is a multi-stakeholder problem

Why are not all initiatives successful?

"Research has demonstrated the importance of there being a business case. Some initiatives go astray because they receive a subsidy and do not have any other good business case. It is also important to involve as many stakeholders as possible. Urban distribution is a multi-stakeholder problem. All parties together are key to the solution, including citizens, politics, carriers and retailers."

In a webinar on October 9, Tom van Woensel will discuss the challenges facing city logistics. You will have opportunity to ask questions during the webinar.

To watch the webinar about city logistics on October 9 click here.

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