LEAD will establish multi-stakeholder communities of practice in six cities (LLs) to contribute to the co-development of sustainable on-demand freight mobility systems, and to directly interact with the research carried out on the ground. Community of Practices aim to gather both public and private entities, comprehending the whole value chain of urban freight transport, including public administration and local authorities, universities and (logistics) research centres, mobility clusters, associations (trade, freight transporters, neighbourhood), logistics service providers, among others.
The meeting was kicked-off by Carlos Mateo from EMT Madrid and followed by a general presentation of LEAD and the Madrid Living Lab and Community of Practice by Sergio Fernández, also from EMT Madrid. Prior to the workshop, the attendees received a questionnaire on the challenges of achieving sustainable Urban Freight Transport (UFT) in cities. The goal was to enquire those involved on how to achieve a more sustainable urban distribution of goods and packages in the cities. The debate that followed was built upon the input gathered.
One of the many interesting inputs gathered relates to the importance given to different proposals for environmentally friendly UFT. The overall opinion was that the most important dimensions are:
The workshop continued with an interactive discussion stemming from several questions asked to participants with a hand from Slido. Participants were offered 4 options that reflect different opinions on the question asked and choose the option that seemed most appropriate to them. Once everyone voted, the results were displayed, and the subject matter discussed.
When asked what measure would be the most appropriate to encourage sustainable habits in consumers, most participants agreed that companies should establish a framework for action to apply discounts to customers who use pick-up points close to their homes or have low return rates. This could release some pressure in a context in which shippers are increasingly offering free services to their customers.
On a different, yet interconnected note, those involved in freight distribution pointed out that cargo consolidation centres (mini hubs) in city centres should be promoted by City Councils so that they can be used by any company, being of public (shared) access. Some of the associated obstacles to setting up such hubs relate to the high renting costs and the difficulty in bringing several transport operators to share the same space. There is also a general unwillingness to assume the extra cost of new storage and distribution space. The most reasonable solution to address these matters would be to develop it as a public-private partnership.
The workshop’s conclusions will directly contribute to LEAD’s Work Package 1: Adaptive City Logistics Framework and LEAD Value Cases. During the upcoming year, Communities of Practice will be set up in each one of LEAD’s Living Labs, and similar workshops organised.