The volume of small shipments in large cities - and thus the entire goods traffic - will rapidly increase over the next few years. One promising solution is represented by two-stage distribution systems as part of city logistics. A scalable hub system consisting of micro hubs and Grätzl hubs in strategic city zones as well as city distribution centres allows for the entire volume of deliveries outside of the city zone to be consolidated and optimally transported into the regions. A tight network of micro hubs and Grätzl hubs means that flexible and above all low-emission means of transport can be employed, which leads to a decrease in emissions and negative effects on the population.
One major difficulty with existing projects is their limitation to a small number of micro hubs where the flow of goods comes from individual branches, and the restriction to individual means of transport. In this way, the critical mass of urban small shipments is not reached, meaning that effects related to volume and network cannot be profited from - thus the existing concepts are usually not feasible due to reasons of cost effectiveness. Furthermore, existing concepts and projects rarely investigate the problem of zoning. A further obstacle for the efficient usage of a logistics network is often posed by a lacking willingness of companies to cooperate.
Legal and social aspects as well as an established operator and business model represent further unsolved issues. Due to a lack of practice-oriented scientific knowledge, the conception of a logistics concept in the form of a proof of functionality on a system level is to be investigated as part of the KoopHubs project. An attempt is made to model an innovative and integrated city hub concept which considers different types of inner-city hubs as well as the flow of goods of several branches. In this, an intelligent combination of carrier bicycles and larger means of transport is to be employed. Taking into consideration various cooperation mechanisms, an economically sustainable operator and business model is formulated. Some micro hubs are expanded with additional social functionality for the purpose of sustainable zoning and are thus converted into Grätzl hubs. These function as a zoning concept and allow for the social embedding of the logistics network.
The project consortium is planning a two-stage logistics concept as the main result, which is evaluated by means of a case study. The integrated hub concept is primarily targeted at policymakers and politicians. The detailed last-mile solution for carrier bicycles and larger vehicles is of interest mainly for delivery agents (CEP services) and economic operators in the urban area. An operator model for a two-stage city hub concept is primarily developed for players within the delivery chain and potential operators. The Grätzl hub concept on the other hand is primarily developed and evaluated from the perspective of local players (economic operators and residents).