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Published on Jul 11, 2014
Rethinking the Last Mile: New Approaches to Urban Logistics.
Freight traffic can be better managed in cities: good urban logistic systems have an essential role in making cities liveable and sustainable. However, such schemes are often neglected by policy makers. Innovative freight delivery projects in cities are numerous and the private sector often plays a leading role. But regulatory intervention is usually necessary. In London, for example, the congestion charge stimulated investments in freight consolidation centres. More generally, regulated delivery times, shop opening times and delivery schedules as well as regulation of vehicle noise creates the conditions for successful urban logistics schemes. The cost of these schemes has to be weighed against the benefits that they engender, that is, reductions in pollution, heavy traffic and noise. The overall financial equilibrium is a key issue and often means long-term public investments at the city level. Sharing the cost of these investments sometimes requires contractual agreement between logistic operators, transport providers, retailers and public authorities since there is only limited opportunity for direct charging. This session will take stock of the innovative solutions in place in different cities, draw conclusions from collaboration between city authorities, planners, research and innovative logistics operators. It will address the policy framework needed at city level for seamless urban freight logistics and the support needed at national levels.