Urban logistic systems face great challenges: unless we don't manage to substantially change our consumer habits, a further increase of urban freight traffic must be expected. At the same time there is a strong need to achieve legally binding climate and traffic goals aiming at mitigating negative transport impacts on the urban population. These goals can only be achieved if current freight traffic loads are (at least partly) shifted towards eco-friendly transport modes or - even better - be reduced overall in terms of traffic performance.
Regarding the last mile in local distribution logistics high-quality intelligent logistic hubs situated at suitable and advantageous urban locations are crucial assets. However, facing the limited availability of apt large-volume inner-city logistic infrastructure and potentially conflicting uses these hubs are somewhat hard to get. The lack of inner-city logistic areas has widely resulted in logistic hubs being located in the outskirts or at the periphery, therefore stretching the last mile up to distances that can only be served by motorized vehicles (trucks, motor-lorries, etc.) for the most part.
The main idea of the project RemiHub is to co-utilize existing central areas and infrastructures owned by public transport providers as temporary logistic hubs and operate them in a hub & spoke fashion using cargo bikes, electric vehicles or automated vehicles serving the last mile. A key activity in RemiHub is to thoroughly investigate specific requirements and to conceptualize the operation of a multi-modal supply chain at the new hub locations (motorized, non-motorized, automated, rail-bound). The city of Vienna, Austria was chosen as the pilot and testing area.
The primary targets of the research project are:
- the acquisition of intra-urban areas and infrastructures for setting up logistic hubs
- the shortening of the last-mile for inner-city supply chains
- to capitalize the such improved frame conditions in terms of realistically operating multimodal intra-urban supply chains.
Operational goals of the research project comprise the clarification of technical, organizational and legal requirements and frame conditions, a comparison of potential locations and transport vehicles, the conception of necessary organizational and technical processes for the operation of logistic hubs in with the context of inner-city supply chains as well as the related simulations and pilot-testing.
Doing so, RemiHub will strongly contribute to local, national and international targets pertaining to traffic, environment and health as well as to the overall decarbonisation of the traffic system, reduction of intra-urban emissions (noise, air pollution) and the lowering the traffic accident risk (due to lighter traffic flows). Also, the project will provide the first scientific findings regarding the freight logistics potential of future automated public transport fleets.