The Opti-LOG project aims at testing and promoting innovative measures for the management and monitoring of urban logistics in order to improve system efficiency and economic and environmental sustainability. In this regard, Opti-LOG studies the characteristics of a last-mile delivery service with low emission and zero emission vehicles, providing operators and local public administrations an advanced software platform for the optimization of city logistics. The expected impacts from the project relate to the decrease of the pressure of commercial fleets on traffic and to the improvement of air quality in urban areas.
Opti-LOG aims to design, develop and test a software platform for an integrated management of last-mile logistics, enabling the following functionalities:
- a service allowing logistics operators to book loading/unloading areas and on-street temporary parking slots devoted to logistic operations; the areas will be equipped with ad hoc sensors to determine in real-time the presence of a vehicle;
- a system to optimize load factors and routes of last-mile operators, by an optimised assignment of goods to vehicles based on weight, volume, delivery constraints (e.g. planned delivery) and destination;
- a system for real-time track and trace of last-mile vehicles and of vehicles carrying dangerous goods on particular;
- a social networking platform supporting the aggregation of the demand of shipments and interaction among users willing to send or receive a parcel.
Upon completion of the described functionalities, Opti-LOG studied models and behaviour-based policies for management and control, in order to encourage virtuous choices by operators. The rewarding mechanisms within the social business aimed to aggregate demand and facilitate the optimization (e.g. groups of delivery). Finally, the project focused on measuring the effectiveness, in terms of reducing environmental and social externalities, of the identified logistics solutions for the last-mile, with regards to Business As Usual (BAU) scenarios.
In this regard, evaluation scenarios have been defined based on the four pilot-cities and for each of them the effects of different policies and configurations of the logistics of last mile will be simulated. The simulations at a local and micro scale used both mathematical models of diffusion and dispersion of pollutants and models to estimate emissions.
This work suggests that there are different elements able to influence effectiveness of rewarding schemes in transport. First, the type of the reward should be targeted to the different stakeholders involved and this has to be offered by multiple actors. Furthermore, a demand-driven public-private network approach of the programme can be very effective. Platform for private companies and public authorities can work together on one common goal: more sustainable and profitable transport with less CO2 emissions.
This model of mutual benefit among the stakeholders will increase its attractiveness and enhance awareness of sustainable mobility. Mobility providers will also be beneficiaries due to the perceived increase in the usage of their transportation services by using multimodal transportation.