Special Issue "City Logistics"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Eiichi Taniguchi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Resilience Research Unit, Kyoto University, Rohm Plaza, Kyotodaigaku-Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, 615-8520 Japan
Dr. Russell Thompson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Interests: transport; freight and logistics; disaster management; healthy transport
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We face complicated and difficult issues with urban freight transport in terms of economic growth, environment, safety, and security. Most of the goods distribution in urban areas is executed using trucks and vans on road networks. Efficient and environmentally friendly urban freight transport systems are required for a sustainable society. Recently, smart solutions for city logistics using ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), ICT (Information and Communication Technology, IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), big data, and autonomous vehicles and robots have been proposed for tackling these problems and implemented in a number of cities.

This special issue will highlight new opportunities and challenges for sustainable urban freight transport, focusing on technological advancements and management initiatives, including public–private partnerships between stakeholders. We welcome papers on:

  • Modelling the behaviour of stakeholders and evaluating the performance of city logistics policy measures, including multi-agent, vehicle routing and scheduling with time windows, multi-echelon vehicle routing, facility location, multi-actor multi-criteria, and freight traffic flow models.
  • Evaluating the application of innovative technologies in city logistics, including ITS, ITC, IoT, AI, big data, autonomous delivery vehicles and robots, electric vehicles, and drones for smart cities, focusing on the integration of information technologies and urban freight transport systems.
  • Planning and management of city logistics schemes, encompassing collaboration between public and private sectors, multi-modal transport systems, sharing the capacities of logistics companies, integration of land use and urban freight transport planning, and space allocation of passenger traffic and freight transport on urban streets.
  • Case studies that evaluate city logistics initiatives, such as urban consolidation centres (UCCs), off-hour deliveries, parcel lockers, cargo cycles, cargo trams, and management of loading/unloading bays.
  • Future perspectives on sustainable urban freight transport.

Prof. Eiichi Taniguchi
Dr. Russell Thompson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Shaping Urban Freight Systems via a Participatory Approach to Inform Policy-Making
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010441 - 06 Jan 2020
Abstract
In the upcoming era of new technologies, a transport system is expected to be ‘more sustainable,’ ‘safer,’ and ‘more efficient.’ However, to what extent is this true? Based on the results of a series of stakeholder engagement workshops, the paper explores the vision [...] Read more.
In the upcoming era of new technologies, a transport system is expected to be ‘more sustainable,’ ‘safer,’ and ‘more efficient.’ However, to what extent is this true? Based on the results of a series of stakeholder engagement workshops, the paper explores the vision of different stakeholders about urban freight of the future. A Participatory Approach was used to allow stakeholders to identify the problem and co-design a set of solutions. Potential impacts of innovative urban deliveries on economy, environment, and society were analysed. Methodology and results were then compared with those of a city stakeholder engagement workshop delivered in Newcastle upon-Tyne in 2014. Stakeholders considered that an “engaging” and “easy to use” process was needed to facilitate the process and it encouraged participants to find solutions for a ‘common good.’ The participatory approach proposed in this process would support transport planners and policy-makers to design and implement a consistent policy framework for future sustainable urban freight systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
A Time-Efficiency Study of Medium-Duty Trucks Delivering in Urban Environments
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010425 - 06 Jan 2020
Abstract
This paper uses data from a major logistics service provider in Gothenburg (Sweden) to (i) identify the different activities in a typical urban distribution tour, (ii) quantify the time required by drivers to perform each of these activities, and (iii) identify potential initiatives [...] Read more.
This paper uses data from a major logistics service provider in Gothenburg (Sweden) to (i) identify the different activities in a typical urban distribution tour, (ii) quantify the time required by drivers to perform each of these activities, and (iii) identify potential initiatives to improve time efficiency. To do so, the authors collected GPS data, conducted a time-study of the activities performed by the drivers for a week, conducted a focus group with the drivers, and a set of interviews with managers. The results show that driving represents only 30% of the time, another 15% is spent on breaks, and the remaining 55% is used to perform activities related to customer service, freight handling, and planning. The latter are subdivided into multiple activities, each taking a small amount of time. A focus group with the drivers and some interviews revealed several initiatives to improve time efficiency. Most initiatives can bring small gains, but when aggregating all potential time savings there is a big potential to improve overall time efficiency. Initiatives with highest potential and low cost are: providing better pre-advice on upcoming customers, improving route planning, having hand-free cell phone use, and enhancing handling equipment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Priorities of Urban Transport System Stakeholders According to Crowd Logistics Solutions in City Areas. A Sustainability Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010317 - 31 Dec 2019
Abstract
This article presents assessment results for the priorities of different urban logistics stakeholders in order to launch crowd logistics (CL) solutions within a city area. Additionally, this analysis was conducted by using various dimensions of sustainable city development. The unique character of this [...] Read more.
This article presents assessment results for the priorities of different urban logistics stakeholders in order to launch crowd logistics (CL) solutions within a city area. Additionally, this analysis was conducted by using various dimensions of sustainable city development. The unique character of this study lies in presenting the priorities of the interviewed stakeholders. Therefore, the purpose of this publication is to analyze the priorities of various stakeholders in relation to the introduction of CL solutions within a city area. The reason for such analysis is the rapid development of a large number of sharing-economy initiatives, including services. For this study, a few methods were used to achieve the research goal. Firstly, text mining and text analysis methods were implemented to analyze the opinions of the interviewees. Then, two chi-square tests allowed us to determine whether the groups of stakeholders are statistically different or not. Finally, the AHP (analytic hierarchy process) and DEMATEL (decision making trial and evaluation laboratory) methods were applied in order to define the priorities of the stakeholders. The needs of particular groups of respondents were derived from the interview based on the questionnaire. The results of the analysis allow for defining the demand characteristics for CL solutions by presenting the areas that are crucial for particular groups of stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Affecting the Choice of Urban Freight Vehicles: Issues Related to Brazilian Companies
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7010; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247010 - 08 Dec 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we present the attributes that influence the choice of an urban freight vehicle by using a systematic literature review and a survey conducted with logistics operators that perform urban deliveries in some of the biggest cities in Brazil. The results [...] Read more.
In this paper, we present the attributes that influence the choice of an urban freight vehicle by using a systematic literature review and a survey conducted with logistics operators that perform urban deliveries in some of the biggest cities in Brazil. The results obtained facilitate the analysis and determination of the main attributes of vehicle selection in some cities of Brazil. Descriptive statistics are used to describe the characteristics of the companies, and a principal component analysis identifies the dependent variables, in order to evaluate the importance of each attribute. Also, an ordered logistic regression model is used to identify if the characteristics of the companies influence the choice of an urban freight vehicle. The results of this analysis indirectly indicate the dependence of the decision-making process on the logistics policies implemented in a given city. These attributes agree with those in the literature review. These results, despite of being evident, are different from the present selection criteria, which depend on local city policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Transport Service Provider Perception of Barriers and Urban Freight Policies in Brazil
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6890; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246890 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to analyze the perceptions of the transport service providers on the barriers in urban freight transport and the restrictions imposed on freight vehicles, identifying which urban freight transport policies can improve this activity in Brazil. Principal component [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the perceptions of the transport service providers on the barriers in urban freight transport and the restrictions imposed on freight vehicles, identifying which urban freight transport policies can improve this activity in Brazil. Principal component analysis allowed us to identify which are barriers in urban cargo transport and the restrictions imposed on freight vehicles. In addition, we evaluated freight policies that can improve the activity using probabilistic preference. We obtained the database from a web-based survey of transport service providers in Brazil. The results indicate that the urban freight vehicle restriction is related to congestion and availability of loading and unloading areas. The freight vehicle restriction is a result of the lack of information and data. The theft of cargo significantly impacts urban freight transport. Transport service provider company perceptions indicate an urban mobility plan as the most-required freight policy to improve freight mobility. To reduce the barriers to urban freight planning, an understanding of the problem involving the stakeholders is needed. To do so, the challenge is to change the culture in the transportation planning process by integrating various actors to create an urban logistics plan that generates opportunities for the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Daytime or Overnight Deliveries? Perceptions of Drivers and Retailers in São Paulo City
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6316; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226316 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This research aims to analyze the perception of logistics operators and retailers regarding freight deliveries in the city of São Paulo. Based on a survey applied to 100 logistics operators and 84 retailers, the data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and multiple correspondence [...] Read more.
This research aims to analyze the perception of logistics operators and retailers regarding freight deliveries in the city of São Paulo. Based on a survey applied to 100 logistics operators and 84 retailers, the data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was used to investigate the logistics efficiency of off-hours deliveries (OHD) and to indicate issues when carrying out OHD. From that sample, noise appears as the most critical issue of OHD for retailers. From the results, most logistics operators and retailers prefer to deliver cargo at night. The advantages of making OHD are the ability to check/store goods, the accuracy in the delivery schedule due to traffic conditions, and the ease of parking a vehicle to offload goods. Public authorities should improve the infrastructure to receive goods, including public lighting conditions and sidewalks. The correspondence analysis method showed that the level of customer service quality depends on the punctuality of the trucks and the ability to check and store goods. Furthermore, by highlighting the logistics efficiency and issues related to daytime and overnight deliveries by carriers and receivers, it can guide public polices and initiatives of other companies, an aspect that has been lacking in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Construction Logistics in Urban Areas and Lowering Its Environmental Impact: A Focus on Construction Consolidation Centres
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216118 - 03 Nov 2019
Abstract
A lot of attention has been paid in the last years to urban freight transport (UFT) activities generated by specific market segments such as food, retail, or home deliveries, while relatively little attention has been paid to the transport of goods to and [...] Read more.
A lot of attention has been paid in the last years to urban freight transport (UFT) activities generated by specific market segments such as food, retail, or home deliveries, while relatively little attention has been paid to the transport of goods to and from construction sites in urban areas. Although transport of construction materials represents up to 30% of freight movements in cities and even more in terms of pollutant emissions. Using data collected over eight months in four construction sites, this paper provides a better understanding of the urban freight transport activity related to construction and presents the potential benefits of the implementation of construction consolidation centres (CCCs). A CCC is an innovative approach, which aims at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of logistics processes by reducing the number of deliveries. Consequently, the use of a CCC in urban areas can reduce congestion and pollutant emissions due to construction freight movements. This paper presents results of CCC usage simulations for the four construction sites mentioned above. The results suggest that the distribution of goods to and from construction sites is peculiar as compared to other, better-known, urban supply chains and reinforce the call to researchers and decision makers from both private and public sides to devote more attention to this market segment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Tendency of Urban Stakeholders to Adopt Sustainable Logistics Measures on the Example of a Polish Metropolis
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 5909; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11215909 - 24 Oct 2019
Abstract
The scale of policies and measures for sustainable urban freight transport in European cities is still insignificant. However, the situation is changing as more and more cities are adopting sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs). The situation in cities is extremely heterogeneous, so it [...] Read more.
The scale of policies and measures for sustainable urban freight transport in European cities is still insignificant. However, the situation is changing as more and more cities are adopting sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs). The situation in cities is extremely heterogeneous, so it would be difficult to point to one single policy that fits all. Yet the tool created with European projects constituting an instruction to prepare SULP allows us to follow the standardized steps, regardless of the conditions found in particular cities. The effectiveness of implementing sustainable measures to a large extent depends on the level of acceptability of individual urban space stakeholders. The article presents the results of a survey conducted among stakeholders of a Polish metropolis—the Gdansk–Gdynia–Sopot metropolitan area. The analysis showed that acceptability rises with the increase in the size of the surveyed entities. The most diversified acceptability ratings were obtained for the transport infrastructure solutions. Proposals for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions are rated more positively by medium-sized and large enterprises. These solutions are assessed with greater caution by small and micro enterprises. The least diversified and clearly higher acceptance indicators were obtained for proposals in the scope of shaping sustainable urban transport development. The assessments obtained from the respondents should therefore constitute an important element of the works for developing the sustainable urban logistics plans starting in 2020 and also the opinions can be an important element of the future sustainable urban logistics plans, which are currently being developed in many European cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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Open AccessArticle
Importance of the Stakeholders’ Interaction: Comparative, Longitudinal Study of Two City Logistics Initiatives
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5844; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205844 - 21 Oct 2019
Abstract
The main purpose of the paper is to explore the importance of stakeholders’ interaction in the different stages of the implementation process of city logistics initiatives and to assess the extent to which interaction may vary between two apparently similar initiatives. A comparative, [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the paper is to explore the importance of stakeholders’ interaction in the different stages of the implementation process of city logistics initiatives and to assess the extent to which interaction may vary between two apparently similar initiatives. A comparative, longitudinal study, with data from two Swedish city logistics initiatives is conducted. The findings highlight the multiple stakeholders’ interaction and suggest that various degrees of such interaction can be beneficial for sustainable city logistics initiatives. The study demonstrates that although the interactions can be considered broadly similar, there are differences that have an impact on the implementation and development of such initiatives over time. It also highlights the relevance of integrating initiatives with existing networks to provide longer-term viability in the implementation process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans: How Do They Work?
Sustainability 2019, 11(17), 4605; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11174605 - 24 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The growing demand for passenger and freight transport in cities, resulting from the population growth in urbanized areas, has led to increasing problems with congestion, environmental pollution and, as a consequence, to a decrease in quality of life. This problem was noticed by [...] Read more.
The growing demand for passenger and freight transport in cities, resulting from the population growth in urbanized areas, has led to increasing problems with congestion, environmental pollution and, as a consequence, to a decrease in quality of life. This problem was noticed by the European Commission, which began to promote the concept of sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs). The efficient implementation of SUMPs requires tools for its evaluation. However, in the literature, most proposed assessment tools relate mainly to passenger transport, omitting the freight transport. The purpose of this paper is to utilize a multiple criteria analysis with the use of the Promethee method in order to assess the level of advancement of selected European Union (EU) capital cities in the field of sustainable urban mobility plan formulation and implementation. This method has been applied on the basis of a survey conducted among representatives of 15 EU capital cities and analyses of transportation plans. This research shows that cities that have a comprehensive transport plan consistently collaborate with different stakeholder groups, have implemented the greatest number of measures in the field of sustainable urban transport, and have achieved the best results in terms of safety and NO2 (nitrogen oxides) and PM (particulate matter) emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue City Logistics)
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