Home deliveries of regional organic food, a business sector with significant growth rates, requires complex and challenging logistics operations and is leading to increasing consequences on traffic and transport conditions. To support sustainable food logistics, innovative processes and business models are required, which explicitly consider food specific characteristics and challenges. In addition to complications of traditional delivery services such as return shipments and failed delivery attempts, food-safety, perishability of products and cold chains have to be considered. Prior developed mobility concepts, however, often do not explicitly consider such factors. Consequently, substantial additional work is required. To narrow this gap and to further support a reduction in shipping costs and transport emissions, this project investigates the option to facilitate existing agricultural infrastructure to consolidate multiple food shipments to end customers of various providers. Therefore, agricultural business provides free capacity for trans shipment as part of a sharing economy to generate additional income and enable cost savings at logistics provider.
By the development of corresponding logistical simulation and optimization-based decision support systems, sustainable deliveries of organic food to urban city as well as rural areas are supported. Through a systemic view considering a wide range of organizational and regulative factors, business models based on cost and risk-sharing mechanisms are formulated and tested to enable future developments and the acceptance of generated results. By a reduction in transportation and related emissions as well as an increase in vehicle utilization as a result of consolidation, sustainable food logistics operations are supported. Results of this project will be disseminated in a demonstrator to show potentials and promote consolidations of organic food deliveries. Planned activities in close cooperation with various stakeholders further facilitate future activities and enable the project team to acquire valuable feedback to improve developed methods. Consequently, the aim of this project is to support future implementations and sustainable food logistics operations.