Environmental and Energy Benefits of Freight Delivery Consolidation in Urban Area

Among new, innovative city logistics strategies, delivery cooperation has received increasing academic and practical attention mostly in Europe and Japan. The idea is to establish cooperation among the suppliers, carriers and the customers through Urban Consolidation Center (UCC), a public facility usually located at the city boundary; with proper consolidation of loads and routing, the goods are then sent to the customers in the urban area with cleaner vehicles and less vehicle miles traveled (VMT). In this study, the authors investigated the feasibility of UCC in an urban setting at the tactical level with respect to total logistics cost and environmental impact. In other words, whether UCC could reduce the logistics cost which involves the monetary costs for activities from production to consumption, while maintaining acceptable level of energy consumption and vehicular emissions. It is found that under certain conditions, UCC may become a favorable last-mile urban delivery solution to the current one without a UCC. Especially the benefits of UCC strategies become significant when the customer rent cost is high and UCC terminal operation cost is low. UCC becomes more beneficial as the economic scale is greater (i.e., higher numbers of customers and suppliers). In addition, public subsidy for UCC terminals would make urban cooperative delivery more competitive, resulting in lower truck VMT and emissions in the urban area.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE)

    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    1415 Engineering Drive, 2205 Engineering Hall
    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Lin, Jane
    • Chen, Qin
    • Kawamura, Kazuya
  • Publication Date: 2013-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 65p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01489743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CFIRE 03-19
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0020; 168k044
  • Created Date: Aug 14 2013 11:36AM