Urban Logistics Innovation Day 2024

Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

The second edition of the Urban Logistics Innovation Day took place on 4 June in Brussels, bringing together over 70 participants from cities, national governments, the European Commission, logistics service providers, and solution providers. Co-organised by ALICE and POLIS Network, with support from the DISCO project, the event aimed to address the pressing challenges in urban logistics and promote innovative and sustainable solutions.

The day began with an engaging welcome and introduction by Paola Cossu from FIT Consulting and Pedro Fernandez from the City of Madrid. This set the stage for the keynote speeches, where Fernando Liesa, Secretary-General of ALICE, presented the latest trends from the International Physical Internet Conference (IPIC) 2024. Yannick Bousse from CINEA discussed EU-funded urban freight and logistics projects, while Koen Mommens from Vrije Universiteit Brussel highlighted the role of the Physical Internet in urban logistics.

Sessions and discussions

Session I focused on insights from policy makers at the EU, national, and city levels. Speakers included Paola Chiarini from DG MOVE, Anna Pätönen from Traficom, and Willem van Heijningen from the City of Amsterdam. This session emphasised the role of public policies in shaping sustainable urban logistics.

Session II dealt with collaboration, digitalisation, and the vision of logistics service providers. Ioanna Fergadiotou from INLECOM and Bart Vannieuwenhuyse from TRIVIZOR presented on the implementation of the Physical Internet in last-mile logistics and collaborative urban logistics platforms. The session concluded with a panel discussion with experts from City-Login, La Poste, and BPost.

Session III highlighted efforts by cities and companies to decarbonise urban freight. Presentations by Joshua West from C40 and Pierre Fils from BPost showcased successful city-business collaborations and sustainable delivery models.

Session IV addressed the importance of data sharing for policy making and impact monitoring. Joris Beckers from the University of Antwerp and panellists from Be-mobile, the European Parking Association, and the City of Antwerp provided insights into leveraging data for sustainable urban logistics planning.

Key takeaways

  • Collaboration is key: Success in achieving zero-emission urban logistics hinges on collaboration between public and private sectors, logistics stakeholders, and citizens.
  • Preserving urban spaces: Cities should remain liveable while also accommodating logistics vehicles to ensure efficient delivery services.
  • A holistic approach to integrate freight transport in urban mobility: Urban logistics is an important part of daily life to ensure competitiveness levels of business and citizens’ quality of life. Urban freight transport must be fully integrated with urban mobility policy framework.
  • Embracing technology: Rapid progress in technology offers promising innovative solutions that benefit cities, businesses, and the society. Advancing implementation and scalling up of innovations is key to zero emission urban logistics.
  • Circular economy: Urban logistics will play an important role in facilitating the circular economy and there are many potential opportunities through engaging with citizens and all businesses.
  • Data and digitalisation: acquiring data is still a challenge. Efforts from both public and private are needed to achieve full digitalisation of urban logistics and maximise efficiency while decarbonising the sector.
  • Learnings from the past: sharing best practices and lessons learnt, particularly on business models related to implementation of physical internet, will help to address barriers and bring added values to all.

The Urban Logistics Innovation Day 2024 underlined the importance of innovative approaches and collaborative efforts in addressing urban logistics challenges. The event provided a platform for dynamic discussions and the exchange of ideas on how to achieve sustainable urban freight transport.

We look forward to continuing this important dialogue and to meeting again next year for the 3rd Urban Logistics Innovation Day!

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