Graz with its historic inner city, which is a World Heritage Site, is facing major challenges. On the one hand, a working freight and delivery transport must be ensured to strengthen businesses in the inner-city pedestrian zone, which compete with shopping centers on the outskirts. Due to the growing e-commerce sector, the number of deliveries is increasing, especially in the city centre. On the other hand, the effects of delivery traffic (air emissions such as particulate matter, noise, road surface damage) affect the quality of life of the entire urban area. When CEP service providers (courier, express, and parcel services) deliver goods to the city centre, usually conventional vehicles with internal combustion engines are in use.
The tours are economically optimized, however, the city centre is often approached with low loading factors. For some years now, companies have been setting up consolidation centers (city hubs) near the city centre to make the last mile more environmentally friendly by using cargo bikes or e-transporter. The use of city hubs, however, is so far usually limited to one company. Therefore, there is a great need for coordinated and cooperative deliveries to the city centers and pedestrian zones for both B2B and B2C deliveries. With the help of a city hub which is integrated into the transport chain as a consolidation centre and can be used by all carriers, an economically sustainable, environmentally friendly, and efficient delivery of goods is planned for the inner city of Graz (B2B and B2C).
An essential basis for the operation and the acceptance by the transport companies is a sustainable business and operator model (core result 1). The necessary basis provides an evidence-based, multi-dimensional, and dynamic evaluation of the cooperative consolidation of deliveries including fleet and route planning (core result 2). An accepted business and operator model provides a central non-regulatory incentive for carriers to complement and support regulatory interventions (such as defined delivery times, preference for emission-free e-vans).
In addition, the GRAZLOG project will show that establishing and operating such a city hub will be possible under the given legal framework. The planned project will create the necessary conditions for a cooperative city hub and will test the operation in the form of a "Living Lab". The results of the evaluation will be incorporated into a trial operation, which will be put into continuous operation after the project ends with the support of the city of Graz. The final result of the project is a best practice case for a business model in conjunction with the legal framework (core result 3). This best practice case provides the foundation for setting up and operating additional city hubs in other cities and regions. All the results are summarized in an overall concept that is also applicable to other cities with similar general conditions.