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Project News

Newsletter #5 issued 20/12/17

Brussels-Mobility freight video 18/12/17

Brussels-Capital SUMP award 18/12/17

Implementation posters 8/11/17

Citylab event in Rome 20/10/17

METRANS UF Conference presentations 17/10/17

Citylab at the Civitas Forum 27/9/17

Living lab updates 27/9/17

CiTTi conference article 13/10/17

Living lab animation 25/9/17

Instant deliveries presentation 30/8/17

Consolidation and EV presentation 22/6/17

Malmo workshop report

London workshop report

Southampton workshop report

Newsletter #4 issued 31/5/17

Freight observatory findings 17/5/17

Right on time! presentation 9/4/17

Freight in the City presentations 1/3/17

Implementation dashboards now live 28/2/17

European Review of Regional Logistics (including feature on Citylab) 20/12/16

See news history
 

  Innovative Solutions for Urban Freight Transport and Environment in the Circular Economy Era
20 October 2017, Rome

The chairman, Edoardo Marcucci (Roma University Tre) opened the event, welcomed the 70 participants and introduced the speakers. All presentations are here or click on links to individual presentations below. This news article appeared in local press shortly after the event.

Linda Meleo (City of Rome) described freight transport policy in Rome, the current situation and the road ahead, emphasising the need for more sustainable approaches to reduce the use of private cars, increase use of electric vehicles and encourage walking and cycling (e.g. through bike sharing schemes). In 2018, Rome will publish its urban sustainability plan which will include consideration of cargo and logistics taking inspiration from the results obtained in the Citylab implementation in Rome.

Jardar Andersen (TOI) introduced the Citylab project and summarised the activities taking place in the six other cities: Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Oslo, Paris and Southampton. Link to presentation

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(Left to right: Edoardo Marcucci, Linda Meleo, Jardar Andersen, Andrea Campagna)

Andrea Campagna (Sapienza University of Rome) introduced the Novelog project’s approaches to engage and support industry and city stakeholders in urban freight strategy development, echoing similar challenges faced by the Citylab project, for example: working with stakeholders who may have conflicting interests; lack of mutual understanding; sparse amount of available freight data and not commonly shared between private companies and public authorities. Four areas of innovation were described:

  1. Substantiating a SULP methodology – to make them easier to understand and use in practice
  2. Multi-stakeholder engagement and pilot action
  3. Organising data and information and integrating planning processes
  4. Developing tools for public and private actors for practical and usable guidance
The tools developed by the Novelog project (see links for details) are aimed at:
  1. Understanding cities
  2. Evaluation – formulating a multi-criteria multi-stakeholder decision making process
  3. Toolkit - aimed at helping cities identify measures implemented in other similar cities, with a database of around 250 previous examples
  4. Guidance – aimed at developing a common framework to support cities incorporating urban freight solutions
Link to presentation


Q&A session 1

Q: Do you foresee living labs as a long-term approach?

A: (Jardar Andersen) Yes, that is the ethos of the concept – longer term planning is needed in urban freight. The concept is new to the Citylab cities so we have little practical experience of how effective we will be in maintaining long-term partnership of 5-10 years, say. Our different experiences over the three-year period will be summarised when the project ends in April 2018.

Q: has Rome considered consolidation of small food suppliers through consolidation facilities?

A: (Andrea Campagna) This is rather challenging due to specialised foods with differing storage and handling requirements. We can’t control or reduce the frequency of demand unless we can somehow get customers (e.g. cafes and restaurants) to jointly purchase; however, we may be able to reduce delivery distances by using micro-hubs closer to the city centre.

Marco Surace (Roma Servizi per la Mobilità) highlighted Rome's context with some 6 million vehicle journeys made each day and 160,000 goods vehicles circulating. Freight distribution is supported by access rules (e.g. the Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ)) with incentives (e.g. reduced or no fees) for environmentally-friendly vehicles. For sustainable mobility, the city approved the Mobility Master Plan in 2015 and a programming tool to rationalize existing systems and mobility services, including consideration of how to contain impacts of circulating freight vehicles. As freight vehicle loading bays are not always respected there is a planned new booking system and new freight bays are being identified across 20 neighbourhoods of the city centre. In terms of opportunity, the CITYLAB implementation will allow us to tackle and evaluate increased recycling and reduced transport-related negative externalities by improving and optimizing waste collection and reverse logistics. The work in Citylab will provide a useful further contribution in developing these programming tools, the Mobility Master Plan and the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). Link to presentation

Valerio Gatta (Rome University Tre) described the living lab in Rome and their implementation involving combining forward and reverse logistics. Urban waste management and recycling is a key area of interest in Rome. The idea of the implementation is for Poste Italiane to collect recyclable materials at the same time as their normal mail deliveries. This was undertaken at the University of Roma Tre where Poste Italiane collected caps from plastic bottles from existing collection points within the university. Important design considerations were the sizes of containers used and how quickly they would be filled. In this way they were able to reduce empty running and increase recycling rates: the evaluation estimated savings of 40kg CO2 per month and a 153% increase in recycling but the scheme was not financially sustainable. The second phase of the Living Lab implementation will investigate possible extensions of the tested system both geographically and in terms of materials recycled to increase the chances of financial sustainability. Link to presentation

Fabrizio Caradonna (Poste Italiane) expressed their interest in using electric vehicles and increasing load factors, especially in return trips. He described their delivery network in Rome which comprises 1300 postmen with 19 delivery centres serving both the densely populated centre (~900 people per km2 to the extra-urban areas (~33 people per km2). A video was shown to illustrate their work. Link to presentation (in Italian)

Roberto Di Giulio (Meware) has provided the software underlying the Rome implementation carried out by Poste Italiane which includes systems integration for last mile deliveries and collections and tracking. Meware previously worked in the related MODULUSHCA project which involved the use of modular boxes and physical internet concepts for interconnected logistics. They are excited about the opportunities for optimisation of systems processes associated with new channels for last-mile logistics such as crowdshipping and automated parcel lockers, enabled by IT technology. Meware have invested heavily in gamification which aims to change individual or organisational behaviour for the better by using gaming apps with incentives that encourage players to become ‘micro-carrier of the month’ or ‘best seller’, for example. Link to presentation

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(Left to right: Valerio Gatta, Edoardo Marcucci, Marco Surace, Fabrizio Caradonna, Roberto Di Giulio)

Pinuccia Montanari and Massimo De Maio (City of Rome) emphasised the city’s keen interest in the circular economy to better manage ‘post-consumption materials’ (avoiding calling it ‘waste’) and the need to reduce, reuse and recycle. Some 17 million tonnes of waste are produced in Rome each year. We want to rationalise and improve some currently inefficient working practices associated with waste management. They expressed their desire to collaborate with innovative projects such as Citylab and they are planning to open centres for ‘creative recycling’ where people, typically youngsters, can experiment.


Q&A session 2

Q: What happens to people entering the LTZ (limited traffic zone) without permission?

A: (Marco Surace) There are penalty charges ranging from €50-€100 (average around €78)

Q: Are the B2B locker systems open or not and how much do they cost? Also, can you explain crowd-shipping reward methods?

A: (Roberto Di Giulio) We have no practical experience of either these yet; I was talking about future possibilities from an IT perspective. I think lockers would be more suited for B2C applications.

Q: Does Poste Italiane see a future in reverse logistics?

A: (Fabrizio Caradonna) At the moment, the Citylab implementation initiative was shown not to be profitable but we are looking at other markets (e.g. different materials) which might have a better economy of scale.

Alan McKinnon (Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg) shared his views on the possible impact of innovative technologies and business practices in last mile logistics, focusing on crowdshipping, drones, droids and 3D printing. This was a thought-provoking review of the current state-of-the-art and analysis of pros and cons of each technology, stripping away the hype that is often associated with them. By way of introduction, he observed an increasing trend in food deliveries and a significant increase in same-day deliveries being offered (51% of U.S. online retailers have same-day delivery capability).

Crowdshipping was originally defined as enlisting the service of people already travelling from A to B and willing to deliver your goods, in the spirit of sharing and networking, but with ever increasing commercialisation and giants such as Amazon and Uber entering the marketplace Alan questioned whether this ethos remained true and was uncertain how crowdshipping networks integrate with traditional ones (e.g. in transfer of parcels between agents) and whether there would be any noticeable effect on traffic levels.

Drones have been proposed and tested for making deliveries (typically for items up to 2.5kg) by various companies such as Amazon, Swiss Post, DPD and Domino’s Pizza and the EU is promoting their use (see Warsaw Declaration). Transport perhaps only represents about a 10% share of total market potential for drones, with infrastructure (36%) and agriculture (26%) likely to have greater potential. A fundamental concern is the possibility of collisions with aircraft with 70 near misses reported in the UK in 2016; the EU's U-space Blueprint seeks to address such concerns. Another concern is the security of packages. The estimated cost of drone delivery varies wildly with perhaps the most realistic (€10 per delivery) being made in a report by SESAR; this relatively high cost suggests suitability for the premium same-day delivery market only. A logistical issue is how drones with a delivery radius of 15-20km can serve distribution centres with a 100-300km radius; a fanciful proposed solution patented by Amazon is an aerial fulfilment centre (although perhaps this was done as a publicity stunt!); a more realistic proposition is a drone support truck but then it would face the traffic delays that drones are aimed to avoid; alternatively, can smaller micro-hubs be used closer to cities? Other issues and futuristic solutions included drone landing and charging points (e.g. on top of lampposts). Analysis suggested that drones would have a negligible effect on urban traffic congestion.

Droids, or delivery robots, travel along pavements to make the final delivery to the customer. Typical use is for food deliveries and other low-end items. One of the leading providers is Starship Technologies who claim to have made 60,000kms of deliveries in 100 cities in 17 different countries, with a delivery range up to 3km, payload up to 15kg, travel speed of 6kph and delivery cost of €1.5-3.0 per delivery. Public acceptance will be essential as they may conflict with other pavement users and their onboard video cameras (for security) may raise privacy concerns, while their alarm systems may cause a noise nuisance. Like drones, droids can have their delivery range extended by the use of a specially-designed van (in this case nicknamed ‘Robovan’).

3D printing is a revolutionary technology with much associated hype about it replacing need for deliveries; however, currently, its use is limited to enterprises with no real penetration of the consumer market. The main reasons for this are very high costs and limited functionality of present systems. While costs may reduce and functionality increase over time, home-based 3D printing still would seem to be a niche market for a very limited range of products. Suggested areas with market potential include mass customisation of sports shoes and home-made toys. Link to presentation

Xavier Cruzet and Simon Hayes (Barcelona Mobility Services) described the pilot of using micro-platforms (= micro-hub) and cargo-bikes in Barcelona within the Novelog project, work that came out of the SMILE cargo bike project in 2013. The municipality in Barcelona has conceded some public spaces to allow Last Mile Operators to set up micro-platforms to allow overnight storage of bikes, on conditions that they are neutral (i.e. open to work with all carriers) and that that they share their data with the municipality. Two micro-platforms were established in 2016: El Ninot Market, operated by ECOPOL, part of a group managing an out-of-town consolidation centre; and Estació França, operated by vanAPEDAL. During the period January to May 2017, 14 delivery tours were made daily, averaging 56 parcels per tour and 16,301 parcels per month, and growth was reported since then, including the opening of a third micro-platform (private) serving Ciutat Vella. It was also mentioned that cargobikes are being used as air pollutant sensors in the GrowSmarter project. Link to presentation

Luca Bedoni (Ponyzero) described their zero-emission urban freight distribution company, founded in 2009, making use of electric vans, cars, bikes, scooters, working in Torino, Milano, Bologna. They claim to be one of few companies able to provide a 30-minute time window notification of delivery (by SMS text) enabled by a cargo-bike routing app, and they also offer temperature-controlled services, including those made by bike. Practical design issues include being able to separate cargo from the bike by using trailers, as punctures would otherwise cause problems; ‘click and change’ wheels for speedy replacement; quick battery swap-outs to make charging easier. They are currently working with the Citylab team to investigate opportunities in Rome. Link to presentation (in Italian)

Francesco Demichelis (TakeMyThings) described the crowdshipping same-day and one-hour deliveries they have been undertaking in Turin since he founded the company in 2015. The business is growing year on year and he predicted having 13,000 customers by the end of the 2017, across a broad range, for example, working with start-up e-commerce companies, artisans and professionals sending documents. Our final deliveries are typically made on bike or by public transport. Link to presentation (in Italian)

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Q&A session 3

Q: You mention zero-free emissions but have you calculated whole life cycle environmental cost bearing in mind the carbon intensity of Italian electricity production?

A: (Luca Bedoni) Ponyzero has not performed such analyses and I believe they are not so easy to do. Improvements may be available in the industry, e.g. through solar energy production.

Q: Can you briefly outline your vision of the future for drones, droids etc.?

A: (Alan McKinnon) the urban freight industry is not known for step changes. In the short term (5-10 years) I don’t think much will change; in the longer term who knows? The future will also depend on how serious governments and cities are about meeting the zero-emissions targets.

Q: Can you say a bit more about the crowdshipping market – for example, you mentioned use of public transport in crowdshipping – how often is this done?

A: (Francesco Demichelis) Some user needs (fast delivery) are not met by normal methods which is where crowdshipping comes to the fore. I would estimate that 80% of deliveries are by walking or bike and 20% using a vehicle emitting CO2, including buses. There is great participation from students wanting to earn extra money.

And finally, the catering team did us proud!

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