The project involved developing a concept for sustainable inner-city delivery logistics on the basis of inner-city distribution centres and vehicles powered by alternative drives. Setting up inner-city transhipment points (city hubs) should reduce the length of the actual delivery trips and make it easier to use alternative vehicle technologies and drive systems.
A model-based development and optimisation of the technical, geographical and logistical aspects of the problem led to the development of a generally valid model and a workable approach to the problem for each of the three sub-areas. The findings were taken up and implemented by the field partners through a structured implementation recommendation for logistics companies and through integration and visualisation in a web-based platform.
Taking into a consideration a “mixed fleet” approach (conventional HGV on longer rounds, alternative drives on shorter, mostly inner-city rounds) as well as existing delivery depots, which can be supplemented with further city hubs, allows the valid simulation of various scenarios, which also enables the derivation of interesting findings in the direction of decision-related additional costs for reducing emissions.
The developed concept was documented within the scope of a practical implementation recommendation; the results were also presented in an interactive visualisation tool. The platform is intended to function as a prototype for a future tool aimed at supporting the decision-making process.
Due to industry-related development trends (compression of parcel service networks in urban areas), both the developed methodology as an integrated procedural model for consulting practice and the decision-making support tool in application have great practical potential.