Urban Freight Logistics: Introduction to new modes of delivery business models

Urban freight logistics cover all movements of goods into, out of, through or within urban areas made by light or heavy vehicles, including service transport and demolition traffic, as well as waste and reverse logistics.

In 2019, freight transport was responsible for more than 40% of all transport CO2 emissions, and demand is projected to more than double in the next three decades. A study by the World Economic Forum estimates a 30% increase in GHG emissions, and an additional eleven minutes in daily commuting in 2030 compared to 2019 just due to more last-mile delivery activities.

Urban freight transport covers short distances, involving many trips and small loads. Even though the volume of activity is low, representing only 3% of the total freight activity, these movements are very carbon-intensive, accounting for around 20% of all freight emissions. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) account for approximately 70% of all road freight vehicles. LCV fleets servicing last-mile urban delivery have characteristics that make them highly suitable for electrification, with the prediction of daily mileage of vehicles enabling battery size and charger installations to be optimised.

The solution booklet created by the Smart Cities Marketplace presents insights on the potential and barriers for the scale-up of new solutions for sustainable city logistics from a technical, financial, social and governance perspective. Expert interviews with different stakeholders were conducted in order to gather experiences from various EU, national, regional and local projects in different European countries. As a result, a comprehensive guide has been developed for cities and city logistics players who want to start diving into the topic and to expand their knowledge with the latest findings of the Smart Cities Marketplace community.

Download the full booklet and get access to all the lessons learnt.

The Smart Cities Marketplace is an initiative supported by the European Commission bringing together cities, industry, SMEs, investors, banks, research and other climate-neutral and smart city actors. The Smart Cities Marketplace Investor Network is a growing group of investors and financial service providers who are actively looking for Climate-neutral and smart city projects.

Published on 12 April 2023.