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Reducing impacts and costs of freight and service trips in urban areas

Specific challenge: In addition to advances in vehicle technology, achieving essentially CO2-free city logistics will require significant improvements in the efficiency of goods, waste and service trips to reduce negative impacts (including on safety) and costs. This will require, among others, an improved knowledge and understanding of freight distribution and service trips and the development of best practice guidance on innovative approaches and how to replicate them.

Scope: Proposals should address one or several of the following aspects:

      Improving basic knowledge and understanding on freight distribution and service trips in urban areas. This could address research on indicators, measurement and data (e.g. delivery/service characteristics, operators, movements, and impacts); economic and behavioural modelling; impacts of urban planning; effects of logistics sprawl (e.g. impact of decentralisation of logistics facilities on transport movements); freight mitigation strategies; effectiveness of partnerships and stakeholder engagement; and comparative analyses and evaluation of policies and experiments.

      Assessing innovative policies and solutions to ensure a better use of infrastructure (e.g. delivery spaces, off peak deliveries, non-road modes, urban waterways) and vehicles (types, load factors); improve network management; address demand side measures, innovative use of transport modes, new ways of stakeholder collaboration; and provide policy frameworks that allow sustainable business models for urban logistics solutions.

      Assessing innovative policies and solutions on consolidation and distribution centres in urban areas, including design (e.g. cross-docking); business models for consolidation schemes (including fleet and freight sharing and pooling and adequate collaboration frameworks); integration of direct and reverse logistics; tools to identify and measure consolidation opportunities; and governance models.

This topic complements the work under topic MG.6.1 of this work programme.

In line with the Union's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation[1] international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with the United States.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 to 4 million each would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Actions will result in a clear understanding of cost effective (non-vehicle technology based) strategies, measures and tools to achieve essentially zero emission city logistics in urban centres by 2030. Particular attention will be paid to significantly increased load factors and reduced vehicle movements resulting in cost and emission benefits. Practical guidance will result in a better integration of city logistics in urban policies. Clear commitments from participants, and leadership for an ambitious Europe-wide take up and rollout of results during and following the project(s) are expected.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Actions

[1]     COM(2012)497