NOVELOG: New cooperative business models and guidance for sustainable city logistics

As urbanization continues, the need of an efficient, clean and reliable urban freight system have become more pronounced. The NOVELOG project provides state-of-the-art techniques to select, design, implement the best measures to meet this challenge.

By 2050, over two thirds of the world’s population will reside in urban areas. Heavy growth of freight traffic in cities though vital to the economy bring a host of environmental and social concerns, such as air and noise pollution, traffic congestion, safety issues, and mental and physical health.

The NOVELOG project was developed, based on the premise that cooperation between both the private and public sector, based on mutual understanding and shared vision for the city is essential. In fact, it may be the sole way forward to benefit all stakeholders in the urban freight system.

Concretely, the NOVELOG project has developed four tools that help the city and its logistics service providers, to select, design, monitor, and implement mitigating measures and innovative transport services. Each tool builds on previous research work, and are very well established, except for the work that Panteia explicitly developed: “Business Models for Urban Freight Transport Solutions”.

Business modelling is a fairly new tool used to develop financially mature projects, emphasizing the roles that various actors can play to ensure that the transport solution is successfully implemented. It is developed through a collaborative process that brings together parties from the logistics services and the public authorities. Each stakeholder is well-represented not only to present their views, but to participate in the design and activity of the transport service. Though it is a difficult process, the solution is ultimately one that has a stronger long term viability, accounts for multiple perspectives of the future, and has the consensus of all stakeholders.

The team, led by Maria and assisted by Jasper and Tharsis, worked on developing the guidance on how to create a business model for the transport solutions, consulting the NOVELOG partners and municipalities (in total about 13 urban areas) on the process, and suggesting ways to make the business models stronger and more sustainable. The results were compiled and presented in a deliverable, which has been submitted for review. Based on the work, we also presented a paper at the International City Logistics Conference 2017 in Thailand, and were accepted to write and present a more comprehensive paper for the Green Cities conference 2018 in Poland. Maria was also invited to present and discuss our findings at the POLIS Conference in Brussels on 6th December 2017.

Moving forward, we will continue to develop the business modeling techniques and refine our approach to facilitate the collaborative process.

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