City Logistics Solutions (CLS) are attracting ever more attention due to three primary reasons:
- Current urban goods transport activities are perceived as having a negative affect on the quality of life in urban areas.
- Structural changes are taking place in urban areas in terms of planning city infrastructure and transport policy (e.g. pedestrian and parking zones), and commercial developments (e.g. shopping malls and emerging e-commerce and home delivery).
- Technological innovations (e.g. low emission vehicles, small containers, less expensive transshipment, or EDI) are swiftly entering the market and becoming competitively priced compared to the established technologies.
Experience has shown that the most innovative urban areas implementing CLS tend to be large cities or country capitals. These larger conurbations have the resources to access support for innovative transport solutions, participate in city networks and exchange knowledge and experiences with each other.
On the other hand small and medium sized urban areas are, in this respect, more disadvantaged and often take action that is rather limited in scope, since they are comparatively isolated when viewed from a European perspective. It is not unusual for local representatives to experience problems such as language translation which limits their authorities from learning from other European cities experiences. The partners of BESTUFS II recognised such difficulties and aimed to broaden the existing BESTUFS network to include medium sized urban areas in Europe including those in the new Member States.
BESTUFS II was regarded as a follow up project to the successful Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) project BESTUFS. Building on the structure and experience gained from this project, BESTUFS II will be augmented mainly in the following ways:
- Achieving a broader geographic coverage of the existing BESTUFS network on urban freight, including the identification and dissemination of project results and best practices of City Logistics Solutions (CLS);
- Attacking the language barrier, especially in small and medium-sized cities by
- providing and disseminating urban freight transport guides translated in many EU languages, and
- organising seminars in national language;
- Quantifying the contribution of urban freight solutions to EU policy objectives;
- Examining urban freight transport models and data structures;
- Supporting the DG TREN policy objectives with respect to CLS (White paper, Marco Polo programme etc.).
BESTUFS II set out to strengthen and extend the promotion and dissemination of CLS in Europe and beyond, e.g. by establishing new links with other networks, groups and other international experts that interface with urban freight transport issues.
European best practice and innovation was seen to a certain extend also from a worldwide context. Successful CLS innovations elsewhere in the world shall become also known in this European network to check if European cities can profit from international approaches and vice versa.
The project was structured around the following activities:
- Identification of best practices through the collection of information related to strategies, concepts, projects and initiatives at a European level mainly. The collected material is analysed, described, consolidated and assessed before best practices, success criteria and experiences are derived.
- Modelling and data harmonisation addressing urban freight movements, recognised as basic requirements for city transport planners in order to obtain a full urban transport picture, including all commercial activities and needed to introduce innovative measures.
- Drawing up of printed urban freight guidelines in 17 national languages in order to make available the results of BESTUFS and BESTUFS II for practitioners in medium-sized cities. In fact, it was felt that the main benefactors of these Best Practice handbooks are mainly consultants, researchers and very experienced practitioners (reading English).
- Quantification of the effects of urban freight transport in terms of economic, environmental and social/safety issues. Urban freight transport is compared with other transport sectors and modes and an embedded overview description worked out. Quantitative figures describing the contribution of single CLS theme groups to policy objectives will be given.
- Continuation of the already existing BESTUFS administration centre in order to support the organisation of workshops and handle internal and external enquiries also in BESTUFS II. The organisation of 22 urban freight transport seminars has been planned. These seminars are seen as major instrument to link local urban freight transport actors of medium sized cities with BESTUFS II and to reach a wide geographic coverage in Europe.
- Dissemination activities, which include the publication of the results online at www.bestufs.net, the production of a brochure and 12 project newsletters, the organisation of annual conferences, the presentation of BESTUFS II at exhibitions and fairs.
BESTUFS II has further expanded and strengthened the network of urban freight stakeholders (urban freight experts, policy makers, researchers, traffic planners, etc.). Moreover it:
- carried out a number of activities to address the opportunities and identify the barriers to effective and efficient distribution of goods in cities;
- identified and analysed the advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses of a large number of possible solutions, producing surveys and reports, and organising conferences and workshops.
Important outcomes of the project are (all these documents are available for download from the project website: www.bestufs.net .
- the BESTUFS Good Practice Guide (in 17 languages), a consolidated handbook containing information, figures, knowledge and best practice for all urban freight transport stakeholders;
- the Best Practice Handbooks (BPH) focused on waste transport and logistics in urban areas, experiments and incentives for environment-friendly vehicles, control and enforcement in urban freight transport, and city access restriction schemes;
- an updating of the Best Practice Handbooks produced in Bestufs (the predecessor project) focused on road pricing and urban freight transport, urban freight platforms, intelligent transport systems, e-Commerce and urban freight distribution and public-private partnerships in urban freight transport;
- policy and research recommendations produced in relation to urban consolidation centres, last mile solutions, urban freight in small and medium-sized cities, urban waste logistics, port cities and innovative urban freight solutions, urban freight transport management, environmental zones in European cities, accommodating the needs of passenger and freight transport in cities;
- a quantification of urban freight transport effects;
- a collection of best practice on data collection, modelling approaches and application fields for urban commercial transport models;
- Eleven country reports on urban freight data collection.
The analyses of best practices reported in the BPH produced the following results and conclusions.
1) Waste Transport and Logistics in Urban Areas
- Waste management has become an important issue in European policies, and Member States have transferred EU-regulations and standards into national legislation, and most European countries ha
As reported above, the project has produced policy and research recommendations in relation to Urban Consolidation Centres, Last Mile Solutions, Urban Freight in Small and Medium-Sized Cities, Urban Waste Logistics, Port Cities and Innovative Urban Freight Solutions, Urban Freight Transport Management. It is not possible to list all these recommendations and we invite who is interested to read the report(s) written for each of the above mentioned topics. Here, we report the recommendations resulting from the analyses of best practices carried out in the BPH volumes.
1) Waste Transport and Logistics in Urban Areas
- P1: It is recommendable to integrate and combine different measures approach rather than implement single solutions (e.g. combination of intermodal transport concepts, ITS-usage and environment-friendly vehicles for the waste collection)
- P2: It is recommendable to find a common approach between spatial planning and transport activities planning, especially waste transport (the integration of spatial planning has to consider the optimal location for landfills and incinerator).
- P3: Often city authorities outsource their waste activities to private operators. It is recommendable that, in the tendering process, city authorities take the opportunity to define standards for collection processes and technologies that can be used in waste management and waste transport, considering not only the operation costs of waste disposal but also environmental aspects.
- P4: Best practices from Germany and Austria show that national governments can influence the development of sustainable and future oriented waste management systems and waste logistics approaches. Countries should encourage national and regional research activities in this field, developing sustainable solutions in cooperation with private operators.
2) Experiments and incentives in favour of environment-friendly vehicles and equipment
- P5: It is recommendable that national and municipal authorities take over a leading role in supporting EFV and the use of alternative fuels, acting as 'kick-off', while the private industry should not only be pushed by financial support but should invest on its own.
- P6: Only deploying restriction measures to encourage the use of EFV can lead to higher costs for customers. A good combination of restrictions and incentives is the solution that can lead to actually successful results.
- P7: Even though smaller pr