Increasing urban freight transport as well as the European Commission's Transport White Paper goal to achieve essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030 and already now requires radical changes. In the future, Courier, Express and Parcel (CEP) Service Providers will be faced with the challenge to find transhipment facilities in urban areas and be confronted with a general shortage of space. By means of a generic model the project MiHu will simulate a cooperatively used Midi-Hub will define an assessment framework for potential locations.
In this project, the term Midi-Hub defines an intra-urban freight consolidation centre with the capacity to serve a larger urban district rather than only a small city quarter and can potentially be used by several CEP service providers. MiHu will go one step further than previous projects by analysing processes within the hub that are usually carried out separately by the individual CEP providers and thus at many locations in parallel. Opportunities to consolidate these processes will be analysed, including staff and vehicle deployment. Through ground-breaking cooperation of several CEP service providers (associated through LOI:Österr. Post AG, GLS, DHL, DPD, UPS) a basis will be established for the efficient organisation and usage of urban logistics areas whilst simultaneously strengthening the competitiveness of the transport sector. Potential multiple uses as well as efficient flow control systems of the logistics areas within the Midi-Hub will be analysed.
The development of a generic model regarding the site selection of urban Midi-Hubs will offer a multicriterial decision support system based on qualitative and quantitative factors, for future initiatives around the establishment of Midi-Hubs. The method used will be the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). A generic optimisation model which enables the analysis of urban transport associated with the Midi-Hub as well as its potential to reduce traffic and thus also emissions within urban areas. The project MiHu is characterised by a consistent approach that integrates the interests of various stakeholders (city administration, citizens, CEP service provider, etc.) by balancing interests between transport trips, living space for people and the ecosystem.
The project proposal can be assessed by developing a collective target system and by considering the economic, ecological and social goals of the various stakeholder groups. The generic model will be tested based on a case study in Vienna and the findings can be transferred to other cities accordingly. To support this, the project will devise guidelines including chronological instructions for the implementation of cooperatively used Midi-Hubs.