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Decision Support System For Integrated Door-To-Door Delivery: Planning and Control in Logistic Chains

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Road icon
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

Transport is an essential service in any society. Goods transportation ensures that products can be shipped from factories to markets. With increasing traffic volumes in urban areas and resulting traffic congestion, it is becoming difficult for freight transport to get into urban center areas. Goods transport in cities represents from 10 to 18% of the road traffic causing 40% of air pollution and noise emissions (compare also the results of COST 321).

The basic motivation of the MOSCA scientific approach is the hypothesis that all organisations, institutions and citizen affected by urban traffic will benefit from sharing knowledge. Exploiting information only locally available yields some myopic profits, but on the long run, cooperative strategies pay off better.

MOSCA aims at improving several problems areas affecting freight distribution in European metropolitan areas, such as booking and reservation procedures, vehicle routing, loading/unloading areas reservations, emergency management support, effective and efficient inter-connection. The vision of the project is to provide a sophisticated technology that allows the actors involved to collaborate on urban freight distribution. Each local authority or company, influencing traffic by its decisions on traffic regulations, road maintenance and transport, is considered to be both a sender and a receiver of traffic-related information.

From the technological point of view, MOSCA is designed for future added value services with several modules (short path, tour planner, on-line routing, shop delivery planning) being implemented on this project. Core concept is based on state-of-the-art technologies with open interfaces to other services.


MOSCA provides a set of computer tools to assist the transport operators in planning their transport services. The approach integrates the urban goods flows and its related infrastructure within advanced off-line and on-line urban transport models allowing authorities to plan, assess and control freight policies according to their needs while private transport operators take advantage out of the model by accessing actual traffic and other information (e.g. 'works ahead' on roads or closed lanes).

Furthermore, MOSCA investigated the possibility to improve transport models by registering, integrating and considering planned transport flows or even planned single transports from private shippers and transport operators.

Technologically, MOSCA designed an information system as a platform for future add value services with several modules (shortest path, tour planner, on-line routing, shop restocking planning) being implemented in this project. Core concept is an application server based on state-of-the-art technologies with open interfaces to services.

Criteria are logistics service degrees on demand side and sustainability on supply side. Input of traffic related events and the corresponding inclusion in dynamic road network models for calculation of estimated arrival times are objectives of the supply-oriented system components. The demand-side inputs data on scheduled transports and on short-term modifications into the information system. This information results from logistics process planning steps for distribution and transport and affect downstream supply chain operations.
Key sub-objectives are: 

  • Stimulating optimal use of existing technologies
  • Developing open system for additional modules
  • Rising of high level of acceptance among key actors
  • Enhancing user friendly interface

MOSCA strongly supports the concept that new technologies must answer customer's need, delivering benefit for the whole Community. MOSCA aims at exploiting project outputs supporting applications in existing and newly developed information systems.

Information system development was market-led from the very beginning involving both transport operators and relevant services providers across the project lifetime.

MOSCA tools found adaptation to the existing systems being a straightforward process, with user interfaces having been fine tuned to make it as intuitive as poss


The design of the MOSCA system has been performed starting with the user requirements identification of both supply and demand side. From the user requirements, a set of suitable applications has been selected. For these applications, necessary modules have been identified and developed. Once MOSCA tools have been implemented and tested, the results have been analysed and then evaluated.
Technical work has been organised according the following activities:

  • Information system specification: based on user requirements, the technological specification was developed by decomposing the system into modules for communication, storage, application logic, and user interface designed in open standards (e.g. XML, CORBA, etc.) for communication. 
  • Supply-oriented system components: transport demand model for urban commercial transport that reflects the real traffic demand and allows an assignment together with passenger transport matrices and a sustainability assessment module which allow the assessment of noise related measures.
  • Demand-oriented system components are basically implementations of innovative operations research algorithms. These algorithms are provided as dynamic libraries of code which will be possible to embed in end-user applications. 
  • Test-sites supported the local user requirements, assessment criteria together with information system performance and acceptance. The resulting MOSCA subsystem has been evaluated in the German, Swiss and Italian sites, at different degrees, according to existing situation and data availability.
  • Evaluation of information system and test-sites is based on the results of the test sites and is focused on the technical approach, on user acceptance, and on performance in terms of logistics metrics and sustainability.
  • Dissemination & Exploitation have been carried out in synergy with public authorities, industries and interested transport companies as well as the national follower groups and relevant EC research initiatives (e.g. Thematic Networks).


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Comission, DG Information Society
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The project results are tools for improving the efficiency of door-to-door transport of goods in urban areas by providing both demand and supply side information in a system. Criteria are logistics service degrees on demand side and sustainability as well as bettered information on real traffic flows on supply side. Results are modules enabling and supporting planning decision both for private and public operators where tours, network structure, traffic regulation measures, etc, are concerned.

This set of tools implements services for shortest path finding, vehicle route planning, on-line vehicle routing planning, urban shop delivery planning, etc. Main project outcome are therefore validated prototypes for demand services and integrated supply-oriented traffic and transport model together with user-oriented decision support system (DSS).

The design of the MOSCA system was performed starting by defining the user requirements of both supply and demand side. From the user requirements, a set of suitable applications has been selected. For these applications, necessary modules have been identified and developed.

The MOSCA system therefore consists of several modules that communicate with each other and further external systems. The MOSCA modules were designed as solutions to the needs and problems of both supply and demand side. A modular structure was chosen where a rough distinction between supply side and demand side modules was done.

The MOSCA project therefore has successfully provided software modules to assist authorities to plan, assess and control freight transport tailored on their needs and production/transportation operators in better planning their transport services. These models are explained as following: 

  • MOSCA-FREIGHT: the module allows the calculation of business traffic and freight transport demand matrices of a city or region. The effort for data collection/processing depends on the availability of behavioural data and the definition of business traffic classes (VISEVA supports individual definitions of business traffic classes). The module can be integrated in an overall model structure including a passenger transport demand model (VISEVA) and a network/assignment model (VISUM). Based on this model detailed analyses of the commercial transport in connection with the passenger transport are possible.
  • MOSCA-SUSTAIN: the module allows the calculation of noise emissions and the

    Policy implications

    MOSCA project takes the premises from the outcomes of previous research in order to further develop the following areas:

    • Introducing uniform technologies and processes monitoring ensuring the optimum dispatching;
    • Encouraging automation of urban freigth processing activities (e.g. sorting, shipping) and standardisation of shipments in MOSCA Countries;
    • City-friendly management of truck traffic;
    • Integration modules of existing technologies.

    For RTD Action Lines work to address industrial consensus on common specifications as well as establishing or enhancing standards where appropriate. In order to meet this objective the MOSCA consortium involved also industrial partners. Moreover the User forum ensured that project objectives have a real impact on freight urban transport sustainability.

    MOSCA project challenge can no longer be seen in a narrow national perspective since urban good transport needs are becoming more and more sophisticated and environmental problems are a global issue. In order to achieve these European objectives, innovative management tools have to be implemented in Europe and the Accession Countries on a common basis. This will enable integration and interoperability at European level.

    Therefore, the development of innovative tools and methods for management of freight delivery in the city centres must be addressed at a European rather than national or private level since only in this way it is possible to harmonise the different settings dependant on specific local characteristics. It has been firmly inspired by national and Common European policies. By essence, it needs European-wide expertise and is a Community Added Value project.

    A RTD project like MOSCA carried out by a multinational consortium - where all partners have their own networks of contacts and many are or have directly been involved in a number of other EU financed projects - is the best forum to bring, closely to EU Commission, an information chain and allow for an excellent expertise exchange.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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