Reading Proceedings of EURO Mini Conference on “Advances in Freight Transportation and Logistics”

The EURO Mini Conference on “Advances in Freight Transportation and Logistics” was held in Padova, Italy, in March 2018, organised by the Transportation Engineering Laboratory of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering – University of Padova, under the patronage of the EURO Working Group on Transportation (EWGT) and the Association of European Operational Research Societies (EURO). The event was hosted within the “Green Logistics Expo”, an international event hosted by Padova Fiere S.p.a. and conceived by Interporto Padova S.p.a. The proceedings are available as an Elsevier Open Access publication. 

A number of topics deal with regional logistics. In many cases, the focus is on explanation of a mathematical model. While such models are important and indeed should be behind any quantitative research, the model description as such is not helpful to understand urban or regional logistics (but is fundamental to understanding the scientific approach behind the understanding). For the practical purposes of the readers, some articles were selected for the overview below. These articles not only explain a methodology, but also allow the reader to understand research results. 

  • Jaume Barceló, Massimiliano Gastaldi, Riccardo Rossi: Editorial. Transportation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 1–3. 

Basically, the editorial lists the topics for which the papers were submitted: 

  • Advances in urban freight logistics. 
  • Operations performance at different level of complexity. 
  • Integrated modes and crowdshipping in urban freight distribution. 
  • Maritime transportation: evaluation of port performance. 
  • Vehicle routing in freight distribution. 
  • Optimization in freight logistics planning and design. 
  • Decision making in freight transportation. 
  • Tools for managing demand, supply and their interaction. 
  • Case studies. 

As is typical for open access publications, the chapters can be downloaded individually. This way, there is quite a likelihood that the editorial will never be read, which is why we suggest to start with it. 

  • Pasquale Carotenuto, Massimiliano Gastaldi, Stefano Giordani, Riccardo Rossi, Alberto Rabachin, Alessio Salvatore: Comparison of various urban distribution systems supporting ecommerce. Point-to-point vs collection-point-based deliveries. Transpor-tation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 188–196. 

E-commerce is a sector in continual growth in all countries and, in particular, the increase in B2C (Business to Consumer) ecommerce market has important effects on last-mile deliveries in city areas. The delivery of a

parcel to a consumer’s address involves not only high costs for both couriers (extended car routes) and consumers (high prices) and also greater environmental pollution. The growing demand for deliveries in urban areas involves increases in traffic and congestion problems and, consequently, environmental issues. In recent years, many studies have focused on alternative measures to reduce the negative aspects and impact of last-mile deliveries. Good practice to rationalize last-mile delivery should involve the use of various systems, such as reception boxes, delivery boxes, controlled access systems, collection points and lockers. This paper compares two alternative options to home delivery. In particular, it makes comparisons between point-to-point and lockers, states the pro and cons of both, and defines the best positions to locate lockers to reduce consumers’ deviations. The proposed method is applied to a real case: the Italian municipality of Dolo (near Venice). 

  • Lucio Rubini, Luca Della Lucia: Governance and the stakeholders’ engagement in city logistics: the SULPiTER methodology and the Bologna application. Transportation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 255–264. 

Many actors are involved in the urban freight delivery system. They hold different visions, perceptions, goals. However, city logistics affects a well-defined set of subjects: their acceptance of (and even positive contribution to) policy can be enhanced by continuing consultation. This evidence stresses the need for the stakeholders’ engagement as a strategic factor of any decisionmaking process. The paper presents the guidelines of the EU-funded project SULPiTER (Interreg Central Europe Programme) for the stakeholders’ involvement (both public and private) in the definition of city logistics policies. In particular, the FQP (Freight Quality Partnership) tool is analyzed and discussed. After an overview of the institutional references and the implemented experiences, a methodological approach is presented, describing the steps for an effective FQP implementation. The case of the Metropolitan city of Bologna is presented as the local application of the SULPiTER methodology, considering two aspects: the way of defining the governance for combining horizontally different public authorities, and the tool for engaging the private stakeholders in the definition of Sustainable Urban Logistics Plans (SULPs). 

  • Antonio Comi, Luca Persia, Andrea Campagna, Antonio Polimeni: Revealing urban goods movements: empirical evidences from some European cities. Transportation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 275–284. 

The paper compares the characteristics of urban freight transport in some European cities, implementing a methodology which uses similar interviews with retailers and transport operators. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the similarities and differences in terms of socio-economic characteristics and commercial structures, and current distribution patterns followed by different transport and logistics operators. The study shows the flexibility of the methodology used in different applicative contdifferences in terms of socio-economic characteristics and commercial structures, and current distribution patterns followed by different transport and logistics operators. The study shows the flexibility of the methodology used in different applicative contexts and points out that there are some different patterns of urban distribution that need to be taken into account when implementing city logistics measures. This research also was done within the SULPiTER project. 

  • Snežana Tadić, Slobodan Zečević, Mladen Krstić: Assessment of the political city logistics initiatives sustainability. Transportation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 285–294. 

This is a methodology for the assessment process, rather than a comparison of outcomes. 

City is the place of the largest concentration of economic and social activities, and goods delivery is a prerequisite for maintaining the urban life and business activities that encourage the growth and development of the city. Locistics systems and processes that enable the realization of goods flows also support employment and generate income, but moreover they can have negative impacts on all important functions of the city. From the aspect of sustainable development, i.e. social, ecological and economic efficiency, logistics processes, primarily urban freight transport, are far from optimal. The growth of road freight transport and traffic congestion, air pollution and other negative environmental impact, inefficient land use and growth of the goods delivery costs influence the definition and research of various City Logistics (CL) initiatives. Their sustainability depends on the degree of acceptability and interest by the key stakeholders. For this reason, it is very important to identify problems and assess the impacts of the solution on all stakeholders. The main goal of this paper is to analyze the sustainability of political CL initiatives and their ranking in relation to the goals and requirements of different stakeholders, as well as to develop and implement a methodology for solving this problem. The new model of multi-criteria decisionmaking which combines Delphi, AHP and SWARA methods in the fuzzy environment is developed in this paper. 

  • Chitresh Kumar, TAS Vijayaraghavan, Abhishek Chakraborty, Russell G. Thompson: Urban Freight Regulations: How much they cost the consumers? Transportation Research Procedia 30 (2018), p. 373–383. 

Many measures are politically introduced. It is rather important to know their economic consequences, which usually sooner or later are carried by the end consumer. 

The paper discusses a multi-criteria decision-making model to identify costs due to time-windows based vehicle entry restrictions as percentage of product retail price. The study was done for two Indian supply chains in carbonated beverage, and fashion and clothing product categories from retailer’s, supplier’s and 3PL logistics player’s perspective. Profit differential for scenarios when urban freight regulations were in place and when they were not in place were analysed for varied service levels of back orders and time-windows based entry restrictions. We found that for various decision-making and cost bearing structures, profit differentials varied from -6.0% to 7.5% of the product retail prices. The results highlight the comparative significance of urban freight regulations for the respective supply chains in developing country like India, and emphasise upon the need for changes in supply chain strategy to reduce costs due to urban freight regulations.