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Special Issue "Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 16423

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Edoardo Marcucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Molde University College (Norway)
2. Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Italy)
Interests: sustainable urban freight transport planning; advanced discrete choice modeling techniques; behavior change in transport
Dr. Valerio Gatta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Political Science, Roma Tre University, Via G. Chiabrera 199, 00145 Roma, Italy
Interests: sustainable transport; city logistics; urban freight; policy acceptability; behavioural analysis; stakeholder engagement; stated preference; choice experiments; discrete choice modelling
Dr. Michela Le Pira
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy
Interests: participatory transport planning; decision-support methods; simulation models for passenger and freight transport policy-making
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are launching a call for papers focused on ways to achieve city logistics sustainability via innovation. Urban freight transport (UFT) is responsible for 25% of urban transport-related CO2 emissions and 30 to 50% of other transport-related pollutants (ALICE/ERTRAC, 2015). Given that curbing mobility is not an option, reaching the goal of essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centers by 2030 (EC, 2011) will not be possible without any substantial innovation in UFT. Innovation can be conceived at different levels: Technological, policy, and governance. Innovation can also play a role in promoting more sustainable behavior (EC, 2011). It should address changing UFT patterns due to emerging trends like teleworking, aging population, more densely populated urban areas, and e-commerce growth (ALICE/ERTRAC, 2015).

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect high-quality papers focused on any type of innovation in the field of city logistics, aimed at acting on the three dimensions of sustainability, fostering UFT decarbonization, reliability, and safety. Contributions can be methodological, policy-oriented or related to industry-led innovations. Research should evaluate the potential impacts of innovations, how they will influence urban freight, and how to best take advantage of them. It should aim at increasing industrial competitiveness in transport, promoting smart mobility and clean transport in line with the new directions of Horizon Europe’s area of intervention in climate, energy, and mobility.

A non-exhaustive nor binding list of possible topics of interests is reported below:

  • Behavior change in freight transport: The role of incentives and gamification;
  • Shared mobility for passengers and freight (e.g., crowdshipping, pro-active demand-responsive transport service and network management);
  • Tools and assessment methods for evidence-based decision-making;
  • Policy-making oriented toward more efficient and dynamic use of urban space;
  • Collaborative logistics schemes;
  • Connectivity and automation in freight transport;
  • Physical Internet for open and integrated logistics;
  • Intelligent and dynamic access regulation (e.g., geofencing) and parking management (e.g., smart e-charging);
  • Smart city logistics, evolution of logistics hubs and networks;
  • New business models associated to smart urban logistics.

References

ALICE/ERTRAC (2015). Urban Freight research roadmap. Available at: http://www.ertrac.org/uploads/documentsearch/id36/ERTRAC_Alice_Urban_Freight.pdf

EC - European Commission (2011). White Paper. Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system. COM(2011) 144 final

Dr. Edoardo Marcucci
Dr. Valerio Gatta
Dr. Michela Le Pira
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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.

Keywords

  • Smart city logistics
  • Clean urban freight transport
  • Dynamic use of urban space
  • Collaborative logistics
  • Shared mobility
  • Connectivity and automation
  • Physical internet
  • Evaluation tools

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
E-Groceries: A Channel Choice Analysis in Shanghai
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3625; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073625 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
E-grocery is becoming more and more popular, involving both pure e-commerce players and physical stores in its development and sales. As a consequence, the last mile delivery model has been heavily modified, with ambiguous final impact on the environment. This paper identifies the [...] Read more.
E-grocery is becoming more and more popular, involving both pure e-commerce players and physical stores in its development and sales. As a consequence, the last mile delivery model has been heavily modified, with ambiguous final impact on the environment. This paper identifies the key elements germane to e-grocery (demand and supply), discusses e-grocery development and investigates the challenges ahead. In more detail, it presents the results of a stated preference survey on consumers’ channel choices for the grocery market. The survey was carried out in Shanghai (China) in order to investigate different purchase attributes, such as product and delivery service price, product range, lead time, time window and travel time. The paper identifies heterogeneous reactions to alternative service configurations, which allows to estimate market shares for e-grocery, with the in-store option as a reference. Policy implications and operational solutions to improve the sustainability of this renewed last mile delivery model are thus proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
Article
Freight-Efficient Land Uses: Methodology, Strategies, and Tools
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063059 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1563
Abstract
Land-use planning and policymaking is central to how communities manage their economic activity and the social and environmental impacts these activities produce. Because of this central role, enhancing land-use practices to better incorporate the needs and impacts of freight activity has strong potential [...] Read more.
Land-use planning and policymaking is central to how communities manage their economic activity and the social and environmental impacts these activities produce. Because of this central role, enhancing land-use practices to better incorporate the needs and impacts of freight activity has strong potential to improve the efficiency of their associated supply chains. This paper summarizes the key findings of the NCFRP 08-111 project on “Freight-Efficient Land Uses (FELUs)”, probably the most comprehensive research project to date aimed at designing policy procedures to foster land-uses that minimize the private and external costs associated with the production, transportation, and consumption of goods. As part of the paper, the authors define freight efficient land-uses, identify the principles that should guide the process towards FELUs, outline the process to develop FELU plans and programs, propose to analyze the freight efficiency of current and future land uses in their jurisdictions, and identify complementary initiatives (both land-use and transportation related) that could help mitigate the negative impacts on local communities. The authors discuss three illustrative cases that provide evidence on how land-use decisions produce unintended effects on local communities. The paper explains how decision makers can carefully consider the FELU principles in their planning and avoid or mitigate such negative results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Article
Digital Twins: A Critical Discussion on Their Potential for Supporting Policy-Making and Planning in Urban Logistics
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10623; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410623 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1668
Abstract
Poor logistics efficiency, due to low load factors caused by high demand fragmentation, will have relevant negative consequences for cities in terms of pollution, congestion and overall city liveability. Policy-makers should equip themselves with appropriate tools to perform reliable, comprehensive and timely analyses [...] Read more.
Poor logistics efficiency, due to low load factors caused by high demand fragmentation, will have relevant negative consequences for cities in terms of pollution, congestion and overall city liveability. Policy-makers should equip themselves with appropriate tools to perform reliable, comprehensive and timely analyses of urban logistics scenarios, also considering upcoming (i) technological changes, (ii) business model evolutions and (iii) spatial-temporal changes these innovations will produce. This paper discusses the Digital Twin (DT) concept, illustrating the role it might play and clarifying how to properly conceive it with respect to urban freight transport policy-making and planning. The main message is that without a sound theory and knowledge with respect to the relationships linking contextual reality and choice/behaviour, it is not possible to make sense of what happens in the real world. Therefore, the joint use of behavioural and simulation models should characterise a DT within a Living Lab approach so to stimulate effective, well-informed and participated planning processes, but also to forecast both behaviour and reactions to structural changes and policy measures implementations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Article
Mobile Access Hub Deployment for Urban Parcel Logistics
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7213; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177213 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Last-mile logistics is an essential yet highly expensive component of city logistics responsible for many nuisances in urban areas. Mobile access hubs are flexible consolidation and transshipment points aiming at creating more sustainable city logistics systems by dynamically using urban space as logistics [...] Read more.
Last-mile logistics is an essential yet highly expensive component of city logistics responsible for many nuisances in urban areas. Mobile access hubs are flexible consolidation and transshipment points aiming at creating more sustainable city logistics systems by dynamically using urban space as logistics facilities. In this paper, we examine the potential of mobile access hub deployments for urban parcel logistics by identifying the impact of design parameters on economic and environmental performance. We propose a mathematical modeling framework and an integer program to assess the performance of mobile access hub deployments, and study the impact of a set of design parameters through synthetic cases and an illustrative case inspired from a large parcel express carrier’s operations. Results indicate design flexibility relative to the location of hubs and pronounced advantages in highly variable environments. The illustrative case shows significant savings potential in terms of cost and time efficiency as well as environmental sustainability. It emphasizes a trade-off between operational efficiency and environmental sustainability that can be balanced to achieve global sustainability goals while being economically sound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Article
Performance and Intrusiveness of Crowdshipping Systems: An Experiment with Commuting Cyclists in The Netherlands
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177208 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1142
Abstract
Crowdshipping systems are receiving increasing attention in both industry and academia. Different aspects of crowdshipping (summarized as platform, supply, and demand) are investigated in research. To date, the mutual influence of crowdshipping platform design and its supply side (with participating crowdshippers) has not [...] Read more.
Crowdshipping systems are receiving increasing attention in both industry and academia. Different aspects of crowdshipping (summarized as platform, supply, and demand) are investigated in research. To date, the mutual influence of crowdshipping platform design and its supply side (with participating crowdshippers) has not yet been thoroughly investigated. This paper addresses this mutual influence by investigating the relations between shipping performance and intrusiveness to daily trips of commuters who voluntarily act as cycle couriers. In an experiment in The Hague, cyclists were asked to transport small parcels during a simulated daily commuting routine. The grid of commuting trips acted as a relay network to move parcels to their individual destinations. All the movements of the parcels were recorded by GPS trackers. The analysis indicates that a higher degree of complexity of rules in crowdshipping systems can lead to better system performance. Meanwhile, it also imposes higher intrusiveness, as participants need to deviate more from their routines of daily, uninterrupted trips. The case also suggests that a well-designed crowdshipping system can increase system performance without having to ask too much from crowdshippers. This study provides reference to better design such systems, and opens up directions for further research that can be used to provide thorough guidelines for the implementation of crowdshipping platforms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Article
Lean Thinking to Foster the Transition from Traditional Logistics to the Physical Internet
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156053 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
This paper studies the relationship between Lean paradigms and the Physical Internet (PI). Lean thinking is a philosophy that allows one to obtain the right amount of the right items in the right place at the right time; it seeks to minimize waste [...] Read more.
This paper studies the relationship between Lean paradigms and the Physical Internet (PI). Lean thinking is a philosophy that allows one to obtain the right amount of the right items in the right place at the right time; it seeks to minimize waste and is flexible to change. In fact, applying Lean not only helps to reduce costs, but it also adds value and improves results across the supply chain. By using a value stream map, we can map the process from the supply chain to the customer, while trying not to add value activities. Such activities include excessive production, overstorage, waiting times poorly adjusted to needs, defects and rejects that require reprocessing, and, finally, unnecessary transport and movements. Storage, waiting times, and unnecessary transport and movements are at the core of the PI. A value stream map can also help to identify empty transport and unnecessary CO2 emissions. This study analyzes value stream mapping as a tool that can enable the objectives of the different Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration (ALICE) roadmaps for logistics innovation to be achieved, and can also allow PI principles to be reached on the established dates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Article
Distribution System with Flow Consolidation at the Boundary of Urban Congested Areas
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030990 - 30 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1103
Abstract
This paper presents effective and efficient solutions for components of urban logistics. The specificity of such logistics and the multiple limitations led to particular solutions. However, they all share one common feature—the flow consolidation in different variants. This study considers the flow consolidation [...] Read more.
This paper presents effective and efficient solutions for components of urban logistics. The specificity of such logistics and the multiple limitations led to particular solutions. However, they all share one common feature—the flow consolidation in different variants. This study considers the flow consolidation at the boundary of urban congested areas, through horizontal collaboration between logistic platforms. This way, the urban distribution centers (UDCs) receive all the goods according to the orders addressed to each producer (or group in case of “on-going consolidations”). Deliveries are addressed to a single logistic platform. Thus, the flow consolidation is achieved. Each logistic platform receives part of the consumer goods intended for commercialization, but through collaboration between them (freight exchanges), all the warehouses of the producers have all the ordered goods. Dedicated management of logistics platforms and warehouses within each UDC ensures the confidentiality of distributor data. Three scenarios are presented concerning the same pattern of flow addressed to each UDC. These scenarios differ by the accessibility of the logistics platforms and by the connection between them (due to infrastructure development). The methodology of choosing the variants for composing the flow sent from each logistics platform considered the minimization of transfer times to UDC warehouses. Synthetic indicators allow for comparison between the analyzed scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Review

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Review
Identification of the Regional and Economic Contexts of Sustainable Urban Logistics Policies
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208322 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Urban logistics policies have become instrumental in achieving sustainable transport systems. Developing and emerging countries still lag far behind in the implementation of such policies when compared with developed countries. This exposure gap provides an opportunity for policy transfer, but this is a [...] Read more.
Urban logistics policies have become instrumental in achieving sustainable transport systems. Developing and emerging countries still lag far behind in the implementation of such policies when compared with developed countries. This exposure gap provides an opportunity for policy transfer, but this is a complex process requiring knowledge of many contextual factors and involving multiple steps. A good understanding of those contextual factors of measures by cities may be critical for a successful transfer. Our study aimed to identify the different contexts of urban logistics measures or policies worldwide and to assess their significance for policy transferability. In this study, urban logistics measures discussed in the literature were retrieved with a systematic literature review method and then the contexts were recorded, distinguishing between economic development levels and geographical regions. The analysis revealed that the economic level and geographical location of cities both have a strong association with the type of measure implemented. Barriers and drivers were identified by assessing policy transfer between developed and developing countries. Institutional and physical barriers appeared to be highly pertinent for a range of measures, while drivers or facilitators were identified from specific problems in developing countries and the respective measures in developed countries. Thus, the analysis of contextual factors can provide a first response to the key challenges and opportunities of sustainable urban logistics policies transfer to developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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Review
A Scientometrics Review on City Logistics Literature: Research Trends, Advanced Theory and Practice
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2724; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102724 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 3686
Abstract
The contradiction between the contribution of city logistics (CL) to sustainable urban development and its negative externalities is increasingly prominent. Policy supervision measures and the green logistics initiative are also in conflict with the management goal of logistics enterprises. Innovative solutions for CL [...] Read more.
The contradiction between the contribution of city logistics (CL) to sustainable urban development and its negative externalities is increasingly prominent. Policy supervision measures and the green logistics initiative are also in conflict with the management goal of logistics enterprises. Innovative solutions for CL have attracted increasing research attention worldwide. However, the description of the global research network in the field of CL, research trends, and the discussion of advanced theories and practices have not been systematically reviewed so far. Especially in the past three years, there has been an explosive growth of relevant literature. In this paper, the method of combining scientometric analysis and thematic discussion was adopted to systematically review 513 important works in the literature from 1993 to 2018, aiming to provide a holistic understanding of the status in quo, trends and gaps of CL research, and to further analyze prominent problems. The study has made statistical analyses of the publication year profile, journal allocation and research methods of the included literature, and constructed four kinds of visualized bibliographic information timeline maps for the authorship network, international collaboration network, keywords co-occurrence network and research topic clustering. Then, the three themes summarized by clustering are discussed, mainly focusing on CL strategies and policy, green supply chain management, planning methods, and advanced concepts and practices. Finally, the research gaps framework and agenda were reported. This study contributes to summarizing the research and development of city logistics on the whole, and can also serve as an explorative manual to support sustainable urban freight activities and innovative research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable City Logistics and Innovation)
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