Urban Goods Transport
Author(s): Rodrigue, Jean-Paul
All authors:
Jean-Paul Rodrigue
Host organisation:
CoE Southern California U, USA
Publication year: 2013
Published in:
Planning and Design for Urban Mobility: Global Report on Human Settlements 2013, United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Research theme: Change Processes and Institutional Innovation, Environment and Climate Change, Urban Freight
Last mile; urban goods transport; freight efficiency; externalities
Research article
Cities are involved to various levels in production, distribution and consumption, which have been expanded by globalization. Urban goods transport has emerged as a salient issue with the growth of freight traffic circulating within cities since it involves what is commonly known as the ‘last mile´ in transportation. This last mile is associated with congestion and other externalities such as noise and air pollution, rendering urban goods transport an expensive and constrained endeavor. The complexity of global supply chains and rising consumerism underline that mitigating urban freight distribution requires a concerted approach and this in developed and developing countries alike. The globalization of the logistics industry with actors such as parcel delivery companies, intermodal carriers and third party logistics providers, is playing an important role in the modernization of urban freight infrastructure and operations in developed and developing countries. As new strategies and practices are implemented, and also because of a trend towards higher energy prices, more efficient urban freight distribution systems will emerge as part of a transition towards greener forms of city logistics. City logistics remains a fundamental element of urban sustainability, but practical applications are complex and expensive to implement and manage.
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