Urban Consolidation Centre supported by Digital Twins



Madrid is an important logistics hub, located within the Atlantic and the Mediterranean TEN-T corridors. Since the pandemic outbreak, the city experienced a substantial and exponential rise of e-commerce and home delivery, a major part of which is expected to remain in the “new normal”. Despite the successful implementation of a Low Emission Zone scheme, air pollution remains one of the most challenging environmental risks to the health of Madrid inhabitants. In fact, Urban freight distribution accounts for 10% of the urban fleet, 20% of rush hour congestion and 30% of pollution from transport in Madrid. Reducing the number of vehicles and the travelled distances seems to be one of the best ways of reducing congestion and pollution and improving air quality in the city. The Living Lab addresses real freight movement problems exploring the concept of a digital twin to optimise city logistics operations of hybrid and 100% electric vans and electric three-wheelers used for the last-mile delivery from a physical urban consolidation centre located within the Special Protection Low Emissions Zone Distrito Centro, setup in idle space of a centrally located, city-owned, underground parking close to M-30 ring road, which belongs to TEN-T.

LEAD strategies to be explored

  • Public-Private Partnership schemes (PPPs)
  • Urban Consolidation Centers (UCCs)
  • Electric Delivery Vehicles (EDVs)
  • Route optimisation engine


The Living Lab explores:

  1. Efficiencies in using a UCC within the Special Protection Low Emissions Zone Distrito Centro connected to the TEN-T to transfer cargo with EDVs and deliver to the city centre.
  2. The impact on vehicle flows and congestion before and after introducing the UCC and the EDVs, using the route optimization engine to generate detailed data to feed traditional and EDVs-associated emissions and noise calculation models to assess the improvement of environmental indicators.
  3. Alternative business models in terms of deploying and operating of the consolidation centres, required agreements among different companies, PPPs.
  4. Cooperation mechanisms between public and private sector stakeholders (shippers, courier companies, retailers, municipalities) to ensure a sustainable model. The what-if scenarios will consider disruptive business models such as the possibility of involving cycle logistics cooperatives and NGOs for last mile delivery.

The economic efficiency and reliability for courier companies, and henceforth for clients, of using the LEAD strategies compared to conventional freight delivery approaches. The impact of alternative strategies for the clients in terms of cost and reliability and the social impacts for employees.