Couriers Go Green

1. European Union’s policy and legislative framework on green city logistics

Module   A. Governance 
Topic   1. European Union’s policy and legislative framework on green city logistics 
Aim  

  • Presentation and analysis of common values, objectives and priorities in the green shift of urban transport 

  • Review of the current green transport policy framework 

  • Guidance through existing legislation and standards for green operations 

  • Discussion of challenges and the way to move forward 

Learning outcomes  

  • Understanding of basic concepts regarding the green transition in the transport sector with focus on urban logistics and last-mile freight transport.  

  • Knowledge of the EU policy and legislative framework to implement the green shift of urban logistics and last-mile freight transport. 

  • Critical analysis of the green shift policy objectives and implementation frameworks for the green shift. 

The Green shift of urban logistics and freight transportation: Common values, objectives and priorities

The shift towards environmentally friendly urban logistics and freight transportation is crucial to the overall goal of achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050. Achieving this shift requires changes in behaviour, technological advances, and infrastructure development to promote sustainable mobility and reduce the negative impact of transportation on the environment. The European Commission (EC) recognises the importance of citizens and consumers in driving this transformation forward. It stresses the need for local investments and increased engagement of consumers in sustainable practices. Additionally, the EC emphasises the significance of smart urban planning, the development of a sustainable bio-economy, and the creation of carbon sinks to support the transition. Moreover, the EU's commitment to global cooperation and leadership in climate action is highlighted, stressing the need for international collaboration to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets consistent with the Paris Agreement. The green shift in urban logistics and freight transportation aligns with the broader goals of transitioning towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy, emphasising sustainable mobility, technological innovation, social fairness, and international cooperation. (European Commission, 2018)

Current green transport policy framework

The EU has set ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by at least 90% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The EU is implementing various policies and initiatives to promote the use of low-carbon transport modes, such as doubling rail freight traffic, revising CO2 emission performance standards for heavy-duty vehicles, enhancing multimodal connections, shifting to electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and developing new distribution models and infrastructure. The EU's strategies for the green transition are outlined in the European Green Deal, the smart and sustainable mobility strategy, and the new urban mobility framework. Additionally, member states are setting national targets to reduce emissions from transport, with different degrees of ambition and achievement. The document also highlights the significance of implementing a "green" policy for transport and logistics to achieve efficient and sustainable operations in courier, postal, and delivery services. (Couriers Go Green, 2023)

In the following pages, we summarise relevant literature from 2018 to 2021.

European Commission, A Clean Planet for all - A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy, COM (2018) 773 final

The document "A Clean Planet for All: A European Strategic Long-term Vision for a Prosperous, modern, competitive and Climate Neutral Economy" by the European Commission highlights the urgent need for decisive climate action, emphasising the severe impact of global warming on Europe and the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is cited, indicating that human-induced global warming has already reached 1°C above preindustrial levels and is increasing at approximately 0.2°C per decade. The document stresses the need to transform towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050, outlining the significant risks and potentially irreversible impacts of unconstrained climate change. It emphasises the importance of a comprehensive and socially fair transition to achieve this goal, addressing the effects on various sectors of the economy, infrastructure, food production, public health, biodiversity, and political stability. Furthermore, the document underscores the need for a strategic long-term vision involving the active participation of European decision-makers, citizens, and the private sector to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Additionally, the document emphasises the EU's commitment to lead global climate action, aligning with the Paris Agreement's objectives to limit global temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It highlights the EU's role in driving sustainable economic growth, promoting innovation, and demonstrating the feasibility and benefits of transitioning to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy. The EU's progress towards its 2020 energy and climate targets is acknowledged while stressing the need for continued focus to overcome recent stagnation in energy efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emission reduction trends.

The document outlines the strategic priorities and pathways for the transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy, including maximising the benefits from energy efficiency, embracing clean, safe, and connected mobility, developing adequate smart network infrastructure and inter-connections, and tackling remaining CO2 emissions with carbon capture and storage. It emphasises the importance of investment, finance, research, innovation, and deployment in driving the transition. It highlights the need for a coherent enabling framework to stimulate change and reorient capital flows and investments towards sustainable, low-carbon solutions. The economic and social impacts of the transition are also addressed, emphasising the potential for positive impacts on GDP, job creation, and economic growth while acknowledging the challenges and potential regional and social disparities that need to be managed effectively to ensure a fair and socially acceptable transition for all.

In conclusion, the document "A Clean Planet for All" presents a comprehensive and ambitious long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive, and climate-neutral economy. It emphasises the urgent need for decisive climate action and the significant opportunities and challenges associated with transitioning to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050.

Figure 1: Fuel mix in Gross Inland Consumption (source: EC, 2018, A clean planet for all)
Figure 1: Fuel mix in Gross Inland Consumption (source: EC, 2018, A clean planet for all)

ELTIS, (2019), Topic Guide: Sustainable Urban Logistics Planning

The topic guide is developed in the framework of the NOVELOG project, funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. It focuses on Sustainable Urban Logistics Planning (SULP) and provides comprehensive recommendations for its development within the context of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). The guide emphasises the importance of integrating urban logistics planning into the overall mobility strategy, acknowledging the significance of efficient freight transportation for urban economies. It highlights the need for comprehensive assessments, long-term vision, stakeholder cooperation, and robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to achieve sustainable urban logistics.

The document outlines the eight key principles of SUMP in the context of a SULP, emphasising the strategic and integrated approach necessary for dealing with the complexity of urban transport. It addresses the challenges of urban logistics, such as balancing commercial requirements with environmental sustainability and the importance of involving citizens and relevant stakeholders in the planning process. The guide also provides a detailed breakdown of the SULP development process, including activities and recommendations for each phase, from preparation and analysis to strategy development and monitoring. It emphasises the need for stakeholder involvement, political and institutional ownership, and evaluating capacities and resources in the initial stages of SULP development.

Furthermore, the document stresses the importance of establishing working structures, defining the development process and scope of the plan, and involving stakeholders in the planning process. It also recommends linking with other planning processes and organisations to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach. Additionally, the guide highlights the significance of agreeing on a time plan and work plan, providing a framework for setting objectives, procurement types, and stakeholder roles during the development and implementation of the SULP. The document also underscores the need for data collection and analysis, emphasising the importance of utilising tools and frameworks for assessing urban freight transportation activities and determining the geographical scope of the plan.

Overall, the document serves as a comprehensive guide for local authorities and stakeholders involved in sustainable urban logistics planning. It provides practical recommendations and best practices for developing and implementing SULPs within the broader framework of sustainable urban mobility. It emphasises the need for multi-stakeholder involvement, consensus building, and robust data collection and analysis to ensure effective and sustainable urban logistics planning.

 


SULP Development Workshop

In groups, use the provided guidelines (Sulp_Guidelines, 2015) to create an outline for a Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan for a fictional city. Include objectives, procurement types, and stakeholder roles. Present the outline and receive feedback from peers.


 

European Commission, The European Green Deal, COM (2019) 640 final

The European Green Deal is a comprehensive strategy designed to address climate change and environmental challenges in the EU. Its primary objective is to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy while ensuring a fair and prosperous society. The plan focuses on various areas, including protecting natural capital, promoting sustainable growth, and ensuring a just transition. Some of the policies under the Green Deal include clean energy, circular economy, smart mobility, and sustainable building.

The European Green Deal (source: EC, 2019)
The European Green Deal (source: EC, 2019)

The Green Deal highlights the importance of integrating sustainability into all EU policies, achieving a zero-pollution goal, implementing a fair transition mechanism, and leading the world in addressing climate change. The initiative also seeks to safeguard the health and well-being of EU citizens from environment-related risks and impacts while protecting and enhancing the EU's natural capital.

In the transformation to a fair and prosperous society, the needs of people, regions, industries, and workers that face the greatest challenges must be prioritized. The Green Deal emphasizes the importance of active public participation and confidence in the transition. It also underscores the need for a new pact that brings together citizens, authorities, civil society, and industry to work closely with EU institutions.

The Green Deal acknowledges the EU's collective ability to transform its economy and society, leveraging its strengths as a global leader in climate and environmental measures, consumer protection, and workers' rights. The plan also emphasizes the need for substantial public and private investment, increased efforts to direct private capital towards climate and environmental action, and the coordination of international efforts to build a coherent financial system that supports sustainable solutions.

Key Actions and Initiatives outlined in the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal outlines a comprehensive set of measures and initiatives aimed at tackling climate change, promoting sustainability, and establishing the EU as a global environmental leader. The deal lays out a roadmap with key actions and a tentative schedule for various initiatives. It underscores the need to enhance climate ambition, proposing a European 'Climate Law' to solidify the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. The deal also proposes to increase the EU 2030 climate target to at least 50% and possibly 55% in a responsible manner. This requires revising legislative measures related to emissions trading, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and more, with proposals for a carbon border adjustment mechanism and a new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change. Table 1 provides a list of the key actions and initiatives along with their indicative timetable.

Table 1. Key Actions, Initiatives and Indicative Timetable
(source: Reprinted from The European Green Deal, COM, 2019)

Actions Indicative Timetable
Climate ambition
Proposal on a European ‘Climate Law’ enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality objective March 2020
Comprehensive plan to increase the EU 2030 climate target to at least 50% and towards 55% in a responsible way Summer 2020
Proposals for revisions of relevant legislative measures to deliver on the increased climate ambition, following the review of Emissions Trading System Directive; Effort Sharing Regulation; Land use, land use change and forestry Regulation; Energy Efficiency Directive; Renewable Energy Directive; CO2 emissions performance standards for cars and vans June 2021
Proposal for a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive June 2021
Proposal for a carbon border adjustment mechanism for selected sectors 2021
New EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change 2020/2021
Clean, affordable and secure energy
Assessment of the final National Energy and Climate Plans June 2020
Strategy for smart sector integration 2020
‘Renovation wave’ initiative for the building sector 2020
Evaluation and review of the Trans-European Network – Energy Regulation 2020
Strategy on offshore wind 2020
Industrial strategy for a clean and circular economy
EU Industrial strategy March 2020
Circular Economy Action Plan, including a sustainable products initiative and particular focus on resource intense sectors such as textiles, construction, electronics and plastics March 2020
Initiatives to stimulate lead markets for climate neutral and circular products in energy intensive industrial sectors From 2020
Proposal to support zero carbon steel-making processes by 2030 2020
Legislation on batteries in support of the Strategic Action Plan on Batteries and the circular economy October 2020
Propose legislative waste reforms From 2020
Sustainable and smart mobility
Strategy for sustainable and smart mobility 2020
Funding call to support the deployment of public recharging and refuelling points as part of alternative fuel infrastructure From 2020
Assessment of legislative options to boost the production and supply of sustainable alternative fuels for the different transport modes From 2020
Revised proposal for a Directive on Combined Transport 2021
Review of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive and the Trans European Network – Transport Regulation 2021
Initiatives to increase and better manage the capacity of railways and inland waterways From 2021
Proposal for more stringent air pollutant emissions standards for combustion-engine vehicles 2021
Greening the Common Agricultural Policy / ‘Farm to Fork’ Strategy
Examination of the draft national strategic plans, with reference to the ambitions of the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy 2020-2021
‘Farm to Fork’ Strategy

Measures, including legislative, to significantly reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, as well as the use of fertilizers and antibiotics

Spring 2020

2021

Preserving and protecting biodiversity
EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 March 2020
Measures to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss From 2021
New EU Forest Strategy 2020
Measures to support deforestation-free value chains From 2020
Towards a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic free environment
Chemicals strategy for sustainability Summer 2020
Zero pollution action plan for water, air and soil 2021
Revision of measures to address pollution from large industrial installations 2021
Mainstreaming sustainability in all EU policies
Proposal for a Just Transition Mechanism, including a Just Transition Fund, and a Sustainable Europe Investment Plan January 2020
Renewed sustainable finance strategy Autumn 2020
Review of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive 2020
Initiatives to screen and benchmark green budgeting practices of the Member States and of the EU From 2020
Review of the relevant State aid guidelines, including the environment and energy State aid guidelines 2021
Align all new Commission initiatives in line with the objectives of the Green Deal and promote innovation From 2020
Stakeholders to identify and remedy incoherent legislation that reduces the effectiveness in delivering the European Green Deal From 2020
Integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in the European Semester From 2020
The EU as a global leader
EU to continue to lead the international climate and biodiversity negotiations, further strengthening the international policy framework From 2019
Strengthen the EU’s Green Deal Diplomacy in cooperation with Member States From 2020
Bilateral efforts to induce partners to act and to ensure comparability of action and policies From 2020
Green Agenda for the Western Balkans From 2020
Working together – a European Climate Pact
Launch of the European Climate Pact March 2020
Proposal for an 8th Environmental Action Programme 2020

European Commission, Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – putting European transport on track for the future, COM (2020) 789 final

The "Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy" outlines the European Commission's vision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, accidents, and congestion while ensuring that mobility remains vital for economic and social life. The strategy focuses on transitioning to zero-emission mobility, making sustainable alternatives widely available, and implementing the right incentives to drive the transition. Key components include boosting zero-emission vehicles, renewable and low-carbon fuels, and related infrastructure, as well as creating zero-emission airports and ports. The document acknowledges the challenges faced by the transport sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for substantial investments to build a sustainable, smart, and resilient mobility system.

Milestones set by the European Commission

The European Commission has set several milestones for internalising the external costs of transport. By 2030, the Commission aims to have at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles in operation on European roads, 100 European cities that are climate neutral, and to double high-speed rail traffic. Additionally, scheduled collective travel under 500 km should be carbon neutral within the EU, and automated mobility will be deployed at a large scale. By 2035, zero-emission large aircraft will become ready for the market. These milestones are part of the Commission's strategy to achieve a 90% reduction in the transport sector's emissions by 2050 and to put European transport on track for a sustainable, smart, and resilient future.

The European Commission’s plan to incentivise transport users to make more sustainable choices

The European Commission is planning to encourage more sustainable choices in transportation through a combination of economic incentives and better information. This includes implementing carbon pricing, taxation, and infrastructure charging to create financial incentives for sustainable transportation choices. Additionally, the Commission aims to provide users with improved information, making them aware of sustainable alternatives available to them. The strategy also emphasises the importance of creating suitable conditions for the higher uptake of sustainable alternatives that are safe, competitive, and affordable. Furthermore, the Commission will work towards creating an environment that enables transport operators to offer carbon-neutral choices for scheduled collective travel below 500 km within the EU by 2030. These measures are part of the Commission's broader efforts to transform the transport sector into a truly multimodal system of sustainable and smart mobility services.

 


Policy Design Exercise

Individually, design a policy measure that incentivises the use of low-carbon transport modes, considering the economic incentives and better information strategies mentioned in the document. Present the policy measure to the class for critique and improvement.


 

European Commission, The New EU Urban Mobility Framework, COM (2021) 811 final

The European Commission has released the New EU Urban Mobility Framework to help European cities improve their mobility and transport systems. The framework proposes a reinforced approach to sustainable urban mobility planning, including developing sustainable urban mobility plans and multimodal passenger hubs. It emphasises promoting healthier and safer mobility, digitalisation, innovation, and new mobility services. The framework also aims to address the governance, coordination, international aspects, funding, and financing of urban mobility projects and promote sustainable urban mobility beyond the EU's borders.

Initiatives and Programs to promote sustainable and smart urban mobility

The European Commission has implemented various initiatives and programs to promote sustainable and smart urban mobility at the international level. One such initiative is the International Urban and Regional Cooperation Programme (IURC), which has received interest from 44 cities from both EU and non-EU countries. The program focuses on urban and regional renewal and social cohesion, covering sustainable mobility and transport issues. The Commission has also engaged in numerous international activities to support the implementation of sustainable urban mobility solutions. These activities include investment dimensions and strategic mobility governance at the municipal level, with a particular focus on sustainable urban mobility planning. The Commission has also encouraged cooperation with international bodies such as the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and the International Transport Forum to strengthen cross-sectoral approaches for integrating reliable and affordable clean energy solutions, including under urban transport. Additionally, the Commission has promoted sustainable urban mobility approaches beyond the EU as part of the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plans for the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, and the Southern Neighborhood. These initiatives demonstrate the EU's commitment to promoting sustainable and smart urban mobility at the international level.

Funding and Financing Instruments

At the European and national levels, several funding and financing instruments are available to support urban mobility projects. These include the Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the Horizon Europe R&I Framework Programme, the Digital Europe Programme, and the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Additionally, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) in the enlargement region are also available to support sustainable urban mobility initiatives. Furthermore, the Taxonomy Regulation, adopted in 2020, creates a classification system for green economic activities, facilitating the scaling up of green financial products suitable for investment in urban mobility and alternative fuel deployments. The Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities mission aims to ensure greater synergies and complementarities with other EU programs, helping cities to deliver on the green and digital transition through the preparation and implementation of Climate City Contracts, which include investment plans and access to financing from various sources. Additionally, the Technical Support Instrument, InvestEU advisory hub, and the European Commission's Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument provide advisory support, technical assistance, and funding to maximise the impact of EU funds on urban mobility projects. These funding and financing instruments demonstrate the commitment to supporting sustainable and smart urban mobility at both the European and national levels.

International Transport Forum, (2021), Decarbonising Transport in Europe: The way forward

The document "Decarbonising Transport in Europe: The Way Forward" summarises the results of the "Decarbonising Transport in Europe" project (DTEU), initiated, funded and supported by the European Commission. The project aimed to develop advanced models of transport activity in Europe to provide evidence of the impact of CO2 mitigation measures. This evidence enables decision-makers to identify realistic pathways towards decarbonising transport by 2050, aligning with the European Union's goal of achieving climate neutrality by that year.

Two scenarios were developed: the Current Ambition (CA) scenario, which includes existing and expected policies, and the High Ambition (HA) scenario, which applies the CA measures more aggressively and introduces additional decarbonisation measures deemed feasible by experts. The simulations showed that the current policies will not be enough to achieve the EU's target of reducing transport CO2 emissions by 90% by 2050 compared to 1990. However, more ambitious policies under the HA scenario could lead to a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions, surpassing the Commission's previous decarbonisation goal.

Existing Legislation and Standards for Green Operation

The EU has implemented a range of legislation and standards to promote green operations in the transport sector. These regulations aim to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and enhance sustainability across all modes of transportation. Key directives such as the Clean Vehicles Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive, and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive set out specific targets and requirements for member states to achieve in their efforts towards greener transport.

Clean Vehicles Directive

The Clean Vehicles Directive, adopted in 2009 and revised in 2019, sets out requirements for public procurement of clean and energy-efficient vehicles. It encourages the purchase of vehicles with low emissions or alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric, hydrogen, or natural gas-powered vehicles. By promoting the procurement of clean vehicles, this directive aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from the transport sector. (EC, 2019)

Renewable Energy Directive

The Renewable Energy Directive establishes binding renewable energy targets for the EU, including the transport sector. It requires member states to ensure that a certain percentage of energy used in transport comes from renewable sources, such as biofuels, renewable electricity, and renewable hydrogen. By promoting the use of renewable energy in transportation, this directive contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of the sector and increasing energy security. (EC, 2023)

Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive

The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive aims to ensure the development of a comprehensive network of alternative fuels infrastructure across the EU. It sets out common standards and requirements for the deployment of infrastructure for electric vehicles, hydrogen refuelling stations, natural gas, and biofuels. By facilitating the availability of alternative fuels and charging infrastructure, this directive supports the transition to cleaner and more sustainable transport modes. (EC, 2021)

Euro Standards for Vehicle Emissions

The EU has implemented a series of Euro standards that set limits on emissions from vehicles, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon dioxide (CO2). These standards have driven the development of cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles, leading to significant reductions in harmful emissions. The latest Euro 6 standards, for example, impose strict limits on NOx and PM emissions from diesel vehicles, contributing to improved air quality and public health. (EC,

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP)

The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is a concept promoted by the EU to help cities and regions develop sustainable mobility strategies. It encourages the integration of various transport modes, such as public transport, cycling, walking, and car-sharing, to create a more efficient and environmentally friendly urban transport system. By adopting SUMPs, cities can reduce congestion, emissions, and noise pollution while improving accessibility and quality of life for residents.

Challenges and the way to move forward

The transportation sector is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in Europe, where non-urban freight plays a big role. Reducing emissions from exports could also prove difficult due to an expected increase in transport demand. Furthermore, decarbonising international aviation is costly and technically challenging. Achieving a zero-emission pathway also requires the rapid decarbonisation of motorised vehicles. (ITF, 2021)

However, there are opportunities for decarbonisation, such as relying on renewable energy sources to enhance efficiency and reduce costs for transport operators, especially for road freight. Non-urban passenger transport could also become carbon-free by 2050, creating a more resilient transport system and benefiting Europe's tourism sector. Additionally, urban passenger emissions could approach zero by 2050 through the development of new mobility services.

Ambitious policies and technological advancements are necessary to achieve sustainable and low-carbon transport systems.

Based on the findings of the "Decarbonising Transport in Europe" project, the ITF discusses ten recommendations for transport decarbonisation in Europe:

  1. Act now and avoid delaying policy decisions, as new solutions and policies take time to implement and produce a significant effect.
  2. Set policy and build infrastructure that can adapt to changing conditions, investing in multiple solutions and contingency plans to prepare for inevitable uncertainties and avoid dependence on a narrow set of decarbonisation solutions.
  3. Create cross-sectoral governance structures with the power to address decarbonisation challenges, ensuring a comprehensive approach to policy impacts across all transport sub-sectors.
  4. Communicate the wider benefits of transport decarbonisation to ensure citizens' acceptance and involvement, emphasising the benefits of a redesigned, carbon-free transport system, from more livable cities to improved access to opportunities.
  5. Increase support for innovative technologies and services and ensure new solutions are introduced where they have the most impact, targeting support to ensure that less affluent and less dense areas also benefit from innovative transport technologies and services.
  6. Help transport sector companies to accelerate the uptake of green solutions by reducing uncertainty through transparency and collaboration, providing information on economic policy development, regulatory measures, and support programs to enable bolder decisions and embrace new technologies and business models.
  7. Design stimulus packages for economic recovery to accelerate the transition to low-carbon transport, seizing the opportunity to channel COVID-19 recovery towards measures that will bolster trends which reduce transport carbon emissions.
  8. Invest in digital transport infrastructure, the attractiveness of public transport, and encouraging citizens to walk and cycle, prioritising investment in the creation of digital transport infrastructure and sustainable transport options.
  9. Support transport operators with conditional sustainability commitments, ensuring that support for transport operators is conditional on concrete sustainability commitments.
  10. Ensure that policies and infrastructure investments are designed in ways that allow adjustments when needed, with mechanisms for regular updates and infrastructure designed for easy capacity adjustments.

 

 

Quizz: Module A - Topic 1

1 / 7

By what year does the European Commission aim to have at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles in operation on European roads?

2 / 7

Which directive sets out requirements for public procurement of clean and energy-efficient vehicles?

3 / 7

What is the primary objective of the European Green Deal?

4 / 7

What is the significance of the Euro Standards for Vehicle Emissions?

5 / 7

Which of the following is a recommendation for transport decarbonisation in Europe?

6 / 7

What does SULP stand for?

7 / 7

According to the document, what is the EU's target for reducing transport CO2 emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels?

Your score is

The average score is 50%

0%

 

2. Opportunities for funding and supporting the green transition of urban freight transportation

Module   A. Governance 
Topic   2. Opportunities for funding and supporting the green transition of urban freight transportation 
Aim  

  • Overview of EU and other international funding programmes to support the green shift of urban logistics and last-mile freight transport 

  • Overview of EU and other international institutional instruments to support and consult on the green shift of courier/postal/delivery operations.  

  • Overview of EU and other international career advancement opportunities in the green urban logistics sector. 

  • Assessment of digital tools and guides to greening courier/postal/delivery operations. 

Learning outcomes  

  • Updated knowledge of funding programmes as well as of instruments that provide technical, technological and management to courier/postal/delivery companies that engage into the greening of operations. 

  • Updated knowledge of career advancement and up-skilling initiatives in the aspect of “green economy” of city logistics. 

  • Experience in the use of digital tools and guides which support organisations and employees in the implementation of the green shift. 

Overview of EU and other international funding programmes to support the green shift of urban logistics and last-mile freight transport

The European Union (EU) offers various funding programmes aimed at supporting the green shift in urban logistics and last-mile freight transport, as part of its broader objectives to achieve sustainable and smart mobility. Here's an overview of some key initiatives and resources:

European Green Deal and Transport

The European Green Deal sets ambitious targets to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient economy, aiming to achieve no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use. It also aims to protect, conserve, and enhance the EU's natural capital and health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. Below are detailed targets and initiatives outlined within the European Green Deal, supported by references to their official sources for deeper exploration:

Climate Neutrality by 2050

  • Objective: Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through a socially fair transition across all sectors of the economy.
  • Legislation: The target is legally binding under the European Climate Law.

Clean Energy

  • Renewable Energy: Increase the EU’s renewable energy targets to 32% by 2030, aiming for a greater share of wind and solar power.
  • Energy Efficiency: Aiming for a 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Sustainable Industry

  • Circular Economy: Implementing a circular economy action plan to promote long product lifecycles through reuse, repair, and recycling.
  • Decarbonization of Industry: Transitioning energy-intensive industries to greener alternatives and processes.

Building and Renovating

  • Renovation Wave: Doubling renovation rates of buildings over the next decade to increase energy and resource efficiency.

Biodiversity

  • 2030 Biodiversity Strategy: Aiming to protect and restore biodiversity across the EU, including planting 3 billion trees by 2030.

Farm to Fork Strategy

  • Sustainable Food: Reducing chemical pesticides by 50% and achieving 25% agricultural land under organic farming by 2030.

Pollution

  • Zero Pollution Ambition: Significant reduction of air, water, and soil pollution to levels no longer considered harmful.

Mobility

  • Sustainable Transport: Reducing transport emissions by 90% by 2050, encouraging a shift to sustainable and smart mobility solutions.

Financing the Green Deal

  • Investment Plan: Mobilizing at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over a decade, with a focus on public funding and unlocking private funds through EU financial instruments.

Implementation and Oversight

  • European Climate Pact: Engaging citizens and communities in achieving these targets through the European Climate Pact.

These resources serve as primary information sources for anyone looking to understand the depth and breadth of the European Green Deal’s objectives, targets, and ongoing initiatives. [1]

EIT Urban Mobility Framework

EIT Urban Mobility is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). EIT aim to become the largest European initiative transforming urban mobility. Co-funding of up to € 400 million (2020-2026) from the EIT, a body of the European Union. Create systemic solutions that will move more people around the city more efficiently and free up public space; bring all key players in urban mobility together to avoid fragmentation and achieve more engage cities and citizens from the word go, giving them the opportunity to become true agents of change. Using our cities as living labs, our industry and university partners will demonstrate how new technologies can work to solve real problems in real cities by transporting people, freight and waste in smarter ways. By fostering innovation and transformation, we candecarbonise mobility will create an innovation community to educate and inspire mobility solutions for 21st century cities.

The EIT Urban Mobility Foundation is a non-profit organisation registered in Spain. The Foundation was created in 2022 to support the delivery of the EIT Urban Mobility mission. Currently, the action areas of the Foundation are the EIT Urban Mobility Master School and Horizon Lab.

The EIT Urban Mobility Association’s purpose is to strengthen the European knowledge, business and growth position in safeguarding access to mobility and logistics in urban areas in a greener, more inclusive, safer and smarter way, whilst improving the fundamental value of urban areas as places to live, move, meet, experience and work.

Some of the key programs under EIT Urban Mobility include:

  1. Innovation Hub: This hub focuses on developing solutions that improve urban mobility and reduce congestion and pollution in cities. The goal is to create more sustainable and efficient urban transport systems.
  2. Academy: This program offers education and training to develop skills and knowledge in urban mobility management. It aims to prepare future leaders and innovators in the field.
  3. Business Creation: Aimed at supporting startups and new ventures in the urban mobility sector, this program helps in commercializing innovative mobility solutions.
  4. Factory: Focuses on bringing prototypes to market, supporting pilot projects that demonstrate the viability of new urban mobility solutions.
  5. RIS (Regional Innovation Scheme): This scheme supports innovation in regions that are moderate or modest innovators in Europe, aiming to boost their capabilities in urban mobility solutions.

The priorities of these programs are to enhance urban living, reduce carbon emissions, promote sustainable and innovative transport solutions, and improve the quality of life in urban areas. They target a wide range of stakeholders from city planners and local governments to startups and educational institutions involved in urban mobility.

The current calls are available here: https://www.eiturbanmobility.eu/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Call-programme_-January-2024.pdf

Horizon Lab

Horizon Lab (formerly The Action and Impact Group) was launched in June 2021 as part of EIT Urban Mobility’s Innovation Programme. The initiative supports and expands the financial and strategic value for EIT Urban Mobility's community by targeting external funding especially for early and mid-TRL innovation and research actions.

EIT Urban Mobility Master School

Master School in cooperation with leading European universities, industry, and cities. Our master’s programmes will not only give you the education urgently needed by industry and cities, but also a valuable network and a truly international experience.

EU Funding Programmes (2021-2027)

The EU provides a comprehensive list of funding opportunities under the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and NextGenerationEU.

These include:

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the European Union's flagship funding program for research and innovation, running with a substantial budget of €95.5 billion for the period 2021-2027. It aims to address global challenges such as climate change, support the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth. The program encourages collaboration and aims to strengthen the impact of research and innovation in developing, supporting, and implementing EU policies. It targets a broad range of stakeholders, including legal entities from the EU and associated countries, facilitating the creation and dissemination of excellent knowledge and technologies, job creation, economic growth, and the optimization of investment impacts within a strengthened European Research Area​​.

Key features and innovations of Horizon Europe include the European Innovation Council, which supports breakthrough innovations with significant scale-up potential, and the implementation of missions to achieve ambitious goals in specific timeframes. The program also emphasizes open science policies, requiring open access to publications and the application of open science principles throughout its activities. Moreover, Horizon Europe introduces a new approach to partnerships, aiming for objective-driven and ambitious collaborations with industry to support EU policy objectives​​.

Horizon Europe is structured around three main pillars:

  • Excellent Science,
  • Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness,
  • Innovative Europe,

Each pillar encompasses various components like the European Research Council, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and research infrastructures, catering to different aspects of research and innovation​​.

Horizon Europe has specific programs focusing on the logistics and transportation sector, which are part of their broader Climate, Energy, and Mobility work programs. These programs aim to develop solutions and services for clean, competitive, safe, smart, and resilient transport and mobility. The priorities include enhancing transport efficiency, reducing environmental impacts, and promoting innovation in mobility systems. For more detailed information about these programs and their specific calls for proposals, you can visit the European Commission's official pages on Horizon Europe’s Transport Research and the related work program documents: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/horizon/wp-call/2023-2024/wp-8-climate-energy-and-mobility_horizon-2023-2024_en.pdf

Some examples:

The NZC project – NetZeroCities

NetZeroCities is part of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme in support of  European Union’s Green Deal. NetZeroCities has been designed to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional and cultural barriers they face in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

Upscaling Innovative Green Urban Logistics Solutions

URBANE standes for through Multi-Actor Collaboration and PI-Inspired (Physical Internet model) Last Mile Deliveries. URBANE’s objective is to demonstrate how innovative technologies, implemented using evolving Physical Internet concepts, can achieve up to 20% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from last-mile deliveries.

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027 is a crucial EU funding instrument aimed at fostering growth, jobs, and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investments across Europe. With an overarching budget of €33.71 billion, the CEF focuses on enhancing high-performing, sustainable, and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in transport, energy, and digital services sectors. This investment seeks to bridge missing links in Europe's infrastructure, facilitating easier and more sustainable travel, improving Europe's energy security and enabling broader use of renewables, as well as bolstering cross-border digital services​​​​.

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the period 2021-2027 focuses on strategic investment in transport infrastructure, emphasizing the development of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The CEF's priorities in the transportation sector include enhancing cross-border connections, filling missing links, and promoting sustainable, inclusive, and secure mobility across all transport modes (road, rail, maritime, inland waterways, air).

Key priorities of the CEF for transportation include:

  • Supporting cross-border projects and removing bottlenecks in the TEN-T network.
  • Promoting smart, interoperable, sustainable, and safe mobility solutions.
  • Encouraging the use of new technologies and innovation such as automation, modal integration, and alternative fuels infrastructure.
  • Enhancing the resilience of transport infrastructure, particularly in response to climate change.
  • Improving connections to urban nodes, multimodal logistics platforms, maritime and inland ports, and rail-road terminals.

The CEF transportation sector has a substantial budget allocation, with €25.8 billion dedicated to supporting these initiatives between 2021 and 2027. This funding is intended to advance significant infrastructure projects that align with the EU's broader objectives for a greener, more efficient, and fully integrated transport network across member states.

For more detailed information on the current programs and priorities under the CEF in the transportation sector, you can refer to the European Commission's resources on the Connecting Europe Facility and the specifics of the CEF transport sector.[7]

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF)

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF) are EU financial instruments aimed at reducing regional disparities and promoting cohesion in the EU. The ERDF focuses on strengthening economic, social, and territorial cohesion by investing in innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises, green and digital transitions, and social inclusion. The CF targets Member States with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita below 90% of the EU average, supporting environmental sustainability and trans-European transport networks. For the 2021-2027 period, the ERDF and CF have a combined budget of over €240 billion. These funds are crucial for achieving the EU's cohesion policy goals, aimed at all EU regions and Member States, particularly those less developed​​​.

For the 2021-2027 funding period, the ERDF is particularly focused on:

  • Supporting the development of a more connected Europe by enhancing mobility infrastructure which is critical for efficient logistics and transportation.
  • Promoting sustainable transport systems that are key to reducing the environmental impact of transportation.
  • Facilitating investments in digital connectivity and innovations in transport services which are vital for the logistics sector.

These priorities are embedded within broader goals to boost economic growth and social inclusion, and to transition towards a greener, low-carbon economy.

Specific ERDF-funded projects in the logistics and transportation sector would typically involve the development of infrastructure that supports both local and cross-border connectivity, enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of transport networks across the EU.

For more detailed information about the ERDF, its objectives, and how it supports the logistics and transportation sectors, you can visit the official pages on the European Commission's website:

Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE)

The LIFE Programme, with a budget of €5.43 billion for 2021-2027, aims to support the transition to a sustainable, circular, energy-efficient, and climate-neutral economy. It focuses on protecting and improving environmental quality, halting biodiversity loss, and tackling ecosystem degradation. The programme covers four sub-programmes: Nature and Biodiversity, Circular Economy and Quality of Life, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, and Clean Energy Transition, addressing various environmental and climate action objective.

Interreg 2021-2027: Fostering Cooperation for a Stronger Europe

Interreg is a key instrument of the European Union designed to foster cooperation across borders through project funding, thereby supporting regional development and integration. The program aims to tackle common challenges identified across EU regions and strengthen the economic, social, and territorial cohesion of the EU member states.

Goals of Interreg:

  • Enhance regional integration: Promote cooperation across national borders, including internal EU borders and external borders with neighboring countries.
  • Support sustainable development: Address environmental, infrastructural, and social challenges through collaborative projects.
  • Improve competitiveness and innovation: Facilitate the sharing of ideas, resources, and technologies to boost the competitiveness of regions.
  • Encourage shared solutions and policy learning: Enable regions to develop and implement more effective regional policies through learning from each other's experiences.

Priorities of Interreg:

  • A greener, low-carbon Europe: Focus on sustainable transport, energy efficiency projects, and environmental protection initiatives.
  • A more connected Europe: Emphasize improvements in transport and digital infrastructure to enhance accessibility and connectivity.
  • A more social Europe: Support projects that foster social inclusion and combat inequality.
  • A smarter Europe: Invest in innovation, digitization, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

These priorities align with the broader goals of the European Union’s cohesion policy, aimed at reducing disparities between EU regions and promoting sustainable, inclusive growth.

For more detailed insights, you can explore the official Interreg website and the European Commission's page on Interreg.

Interreg has several programs that focus on sustainable transport, energy efficiency, and environmental protection initiatives across different European regions:

  1. Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP): Implemented in Alba Iulia, Romania, this plan focuses on increasing energy efficiency in public buildings, sustainable urban transport systems, and modernizing public lighting. The goal is to significantly reduce CO2 emissions throughout the city. This project exemplifies local government's commitment to reducing energy consumption and enhancing environmental sustainability (Interreg Europe).
  2. Interreg North Sea Region: This transnational cooperation program involves seven countries and emphasizes improving accessibility, fostering sustainable transport, and enhancing environmental development. The program supports projects that promote green transitions and climate resilience, improving the overall quality of life and sustainability in the North Sea region (Interreg North Sea).
  3. Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Program: Focusing on remote and sparsely populated areas, the NPA program aims to support sustainable development by enhancing innovation capacity, climate change adaptation, and the sustainable use of resources. It promotes cooperation across the northernmost parts of Europe and the North Atlantic territories (Interreg NPA).

Interreg Europe has supported various projects that impact the logistics sector, focusing on improving sustainability, efficiency, and technological integration. Here are a couple of notable examples:

  1. Sustainable Urban Logistics: This initiative aims to tackle the challenges of urban logistics by encouraging the development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). Cities are exploring policies to regulate non-passenger vehicles to reduce carbon emissions, air pollutants, and traffic congestion. The project advocates for the integration of clean urban logistics practices as cities experience a surge in logistics activities driven by e-commerce​​.
  2. Bouwhub – Smart Building Logistics: This project involves a logistical hub in Utrecht, designed to streamline the distribution of materials for building projects, thereby reducing CO2 emissions and improving efficiency. The hub organizes materials for multiple projects, reducing the volume of deliveries and coordinating the reuse and recycling of materials. This not only minimizes traffic and pollution in city centers but also enhances safety and reduces waste on building sites​​.
  3. RECREATE: This project targets regional transport SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) to boost their capacity and competitiveness. It focuses on supporting high-tech SMEs in the transport sector to develop and commercialize new technologies, enhance their market knowledge, and improve their access to external information and resources. The project's broader goal is to increase economic competitiveness in regions like Coventry and Warwickshire by focusing on the vehicle engineering and transport manufacturing sectors​.

Interreg DR, also known as Interreg Danube Region, supports various projects within the logistics sector, aiming to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and competitiveness across the region. Here are a few projects under Interreg DR that focus on the logistics sector:

  1. SPOTLOG: It focuses on creating green and socially responsible city logistics innovations. It involves local communities in developing zero-carbon logistics systems and utilizes digitalization to improve transport services. The project aims to foster trust among stakeholders and enhance policy instruments towards European goals of inclusive and carbon-neutral mobility​​.
  2. EMMA (Enhancing freight Mobility and logistics in the BSR): The EMMA project is dedicated to strengthening inland waterway and river sea transport in the Baltic Sea Region. It works on improving the political and operational framework for inland waterway transport, which includes raising awareness, performing pilot demonstrations, and influencing policy through strategic recommendations​​.
  3. CoCoBLog (Competent and Competitive Baltic Logistics): It aims to bridge the gap between current and needed logistics skills and competences within the Baltic Sea region. This project enhances the institutional capacities of companies in the logistics sector, ultimately leading to improved logistics performance and reduced disparities between countries in the region​​.

Interreg Central Europe (Interreg CE) is a European Union funding program that supports cooperation across Central European regions to tackle shared regional challenges. The program funds projects that enhance resilience and address transnational issues, focusing on innovation, environmental sustainability, and regional connectivity.

Here are a couple of projects supported by Interreg CE that focus on the logistics sector:

  1. SOLEZ: The project (SOLEZ) itself aims to improve sustainable mobility in urban areas across Central Europe. It focuses on developing low-emission zones, smart parking solutions, and action plans for cities to increase the diffusion of sustainable mobility practices. The project has developed various tools to assist cities in planning and implementing sustainable logistics and mobility solutions​​.
  2. TalkNET: Enhances the integration and coordination among ports, inland terminals, transport operators, and policymakers. The project emphasizes multimodality and eco-innovation, focusing on optimizing node management and deploying alternative fuels. It has developed numerous action plans and knowledge tools to support these goals, aiming to improve the efficiency and sustainability of transport and logistics networks across the region​​.
  3. Food4CE: Though not directly focused on general logistics, Food4CE involves logistics as part of its broader aim to support Alternative Food Networks (AFNs). This project focuses on regional food logistics, aiming to support sustainable and resilient food supply systems through the development of innovative logistics solutions and the adoption of electromobility​​.

Find more Interreg calls on the following page: https://interreg.eu/call-for-project/

Overview of EU and other international institutional instruments to support and consult on the green shift of courier/postal/delivery operations.

The green shift in courier, postal, and delivery operations is a global priority, driven by technological advancements, regulatory changes, and evolving market dynamics. This transition towards more sustainable practices in the delivery industry is supported and consulted by various international and EU institutions, through a mix of regulatory frameworks, technological innovations, and market-oriented reforms.

UN guide to climate action for transportation

The UN's guide to climate action for transportation emphasizes a holistic and inclusive approach to decarbonizing the transport sector, crucial for aligning with the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It outlines the imperative of shifting towards more sustainable, efficient, and inclusive transportation systems that cater to all, including the most vulnerable populations.

Key points include:

  1. Decarbonization Efforts: Prioritizing the phase-out of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040 and advocating for zero-emission vessels as the standard in shipping. This transition requires the collective effort of individuals, businesses, and governments to adapt their travel habits, business operations, and regulatory frameworks respectively​​.
  2. Inclusivity and Safety: Enhancing accessibility to safe and reliable public transportation is vital. Efforts should be directed towards making public transit options more convenient and addressing safety concerns, particularly those affecting women and girls, to ensure equitable access to mobility for over one billion people currently lacking​​.
  3. Economic and Job Opportunities: Sustainable transport systems are not only pivotal for environmental reasons but also offer significant economic benefits and job creation opportunities. Investments in public transportation, for example, are shown to yield thrice the number of jobs compared to the construction of new highways​​.
  4. Resilience and Adaptation: With much of the existing transport infrastructure at risk from climate-induced events, there is a strong call for enhanced resilience planning, risk analysis, and increased financing for climate adaptation, especially in developing countries​​.
  5. Technology and Innovation: Looking towards 2050, the vision is for a completely decarbonized transport sector achieved through the adoption of low-emission and carbon-free alternatives. Innovations in vehicle technology, clean electrification, and the development of zero-emission fuels for various modes of transport, alongside improvements in infrastructure, are highlighted as key enablers for this transition​​.
  6. Digital Integration: The use of digital technologies and advanced data management systems is crucial for improving the connectivity between different transport modes, enhancing the efficiency, reliability, and affordability of travel, and making systems more resilient to future shocks​​.

The UN guide to climate action for transportation calls for a collaborative effort across all sectors and levels of society to transform transportation into a sustainable system that supports economic growth, improves public health, and mitigates climate change. The realization of this vision will require comprehensive reforms in policy, financing, and societal behavior towards mobility.

OECD's strategy for sustainable transportation

The OECD's strategy for sustainable transportation, endorsed by Environment Ministers of OECD member countries in May 2001, focuses on moving towards Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST). It aims to support economic development and individual welfare without causing undue health and environmental impacts or depleting finite resources. The guidelines encourage governments to develop and implement strategies that consider their unique geographic and socio-economic conditions, offering a desirable approach for the transport sector that could also benefit other sectors in sustainable development.

International Support and Consultation

The World Trade Organization (WTO) outlines how the postal and courier services sector, which plays a crucial role in the global communications infrastructure, has undergone significant changes over recent decades. These changes include market-oriented reforms such as the corporatization and privatization of public postal operators and the reduction in the scope of postal monopolies. The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) applies to postal and courier services, encouraging liberalization and improved market access. Technological advancements have also driven increased demand for parcel delivery, pivotal for e-commerce and just-in-time supply chain management​​. The World Trade Organization (WTO) primarily focuses on creating smooth, predictable, and free global trade frameworks rather than specific sectors like sustainable transport. However, its initiatives indirectly support sustainable transport through trade policies encouraging environmental sustainability and reducing trade barriers for green technologies. For detailed strategies and objectives related to trade and environmental sustainability, please refer to the official WTO resources.

EU Support and Consultation

The European Union (EU), through its environmental and transport policies, significantly influences the green shift in courier, postal, and delivery operations. While specific EU-wide programs directly targeting courier/postal operations' sustainability were not identified in the provided materials, the EU's comprehensive environmental strategies, including the European Green Deal, likely encompass measures that indirectly support this sector's greening. The EU has historically emphasized reducing emissions, promoting energy efficiency, and fostering innovation in transport and logistics, which would include courier and postal services as part of the broader transport sector.

Overview of EU and other international career advancement opportunities in the green urban logistics sector.

The green urban logistics sector is a rapidly growing field with various quickly developing areas such as sustainable supply chain management, transportation planning, renewable energy integration, data analytics, or last-mile delivery management, all of which are eqally important areas of sustainable freight logistics in optimizing logistics networks to minimize environmental impact. Europe is implementing ambitious policies and regulations to promote sustainable urban logistic shaping policies related to emissions reduction, congestion management, and alternative transportation.

Apart from industry actors or academic institutions, government agencies, municipalities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also play an important role in promoting and implementing sustainable urban logistics initiatives. Due to EU fundings several startups and research institutions in Europe are cooperating to develop innovative technologies and solutions to optimize urban freight logistics enabling businisess maintaining practices to minimize environmental impact, work on initiatives such as supplier engagement, carbon footprint reduction, modal shift to more sustainable transportation modes, last-mile delivery management, or even ethical sourcing and circular economy principles.

Institutions in career advancement in the green urban logistics sector:

Academic institutions, research centers and think tanks

Universities and research institutions in Europe conduct cutting-edge research on topics related to green urban logistics, including sustainable transportation systems, energy-efficient logistics operations, and smart city initiatives. Several universitites provide degree programs, certificates, and courses focused on sustainable transportation, urban logistics, and supply chain management, covering topics such as green logistics strategies, transportation planning, sustainable supply chain practices, and environmental management. These organizations provide opportunities for collaboration, knowledge exchange.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (Germany) focuses on company-specific, made-to-measure solutions and accompanies its customers from planning to implementation.

The Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds (UK) deliver internationally excellent research outputs, which impact upon transport policy and practice, and contribute to the wider economy and society.

Professional development courses, events, conferences and workshops:

Interprofessional courses, workshops, and seminars focus on green urban logistics and sustainable transportation practices such as route optimization, emissions reduction, or green fleet management. At conferences professionals, researchers, policymakers, and industry leaders discuss the latest trends, innovations, and challenges of the green urban logistics sector.

Consulting and Advisory Services:

International organisations Such as the European Union or United Nations and the International Transport Forum are coordinating international efforts to address climate change and promote sustainable transportation.

Industry associations and networks:

Theese communities aim at knowledge sharing, and professional development. European Green Cities Network, European Logistics Association (ELA), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) offer platforms for collaboration and information exchange.

Areas in career advancement to evolve in the green urban logistics

To enhance sustainable company operations collaborating with internal teams, external partners and technology vendors can help logistics companies by piloting and scaling innovative solutions that improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

Sustainable supply chain management aims at reducing the carbon footprint of the company's operations, developing and implementing strategies to optimize supply chain networks, engaging with suppliers on sustainability initiatives, tracking and reporting on key performance indicators related to environmental impact, implementing green logistics practices such as efficient inventory management, packaging optimization, and waste reduction.

Green fleet managemenet uses technologies to improve efficiency in managing and optimizing fleet of vehicles to minimize environmental impact, and reduce emissions, by implementing efficient routing and scheduling systems, and adopting sustainable maintenance practices.

Dealing with environmental compliance and regulatory affairs may involve conducting environmental audits, managing permits and certifications, as well as advocating for policies and practices that support sustainability goals and getting involved with industry associations, working groups and regulatory forums focusing on sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Last-mile delivery management explores innovative approaches such as electric vehicles, cargo bikes, and delivery consolidation schemes to optimize urban delivery operations involving cooperation with local actors.

European urban mobility initiatives

The CIVITAS network provides funding, technical assistance, and knowledge exchange opportunities to cities across Europe to help them develop and implement innovative solutions for sustainable urban transportation, including green city logistics, by promoting cleaner urban freight vehicles and more efficient goods distribution.

URBANE will support the transition path towards effective, resilient, safe and sustainable last-mile transport.

The Urban Freight Platform (UFP) is a European network that brings together stakeholders from academia, industry, government, and the non-profit sector to exchange knowledge and best practices in urban freight transportation. It provides cities and regions with a platform to address challenges, share best practices, and enhance collaboration with companies, prioritizing topics and expediting innovative solutions facilitate discussions on urban freight challenges, they are also fostering collaboration among POLIS members and beyond for sustainable solutions..

As a member of the Alliance for Logistics Innovation in Europe (ETP-ALICE), POLIS fosters public-private dialogue through annual online webinars and in-person meetings to devise cleaner, more efficient urban logistics solutions.

Assessment of digital tools and guides to greening courier/postal/delivery operations.

To enhance the greening of courier, postal and delivery operations through digital tools and guides, several initiatives and solutions have been identified, promoting sustainability and efficiency. Here are some key examples along with references for further exploration:

Route Optimization Softwares

Route optimization softwares play a crucial role in minimizing the environmental impact of delivery operations. By efficiently planning delivery routes, these tools significantly reduce mileage and, consequently, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The optimization not only includes the shortest path but also considers traffic conditions, delivery windows, and vehicle capacity, ensuring the most efficient use of resources.

Examples: Routific, Upper Route Planner

Benefits: These tools help in reducing fuel consumption and vehicle emissions by optimizing delivery routes.

For more details, you can visit the Routific website and Upper Route Planne website.

Carbon Footprint Calculators

Carbon footprint calculators enable businesses to measure their emissions across various activities, including logistics and transportation. By quantifying their carbon footprint, companies can identify high-emission areas and strategize on reduction initiatives. These tools often adhere to international standards, providing a reliable methodology for tracking and reporting emissions.

Examples: Carbon Trust Calculator

Benefits: Enables businesses to measure their carbon emissions, focusing on transportation and logistics operations.

Explore the Carbon Trust's tools for measuring and managing emissions.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) and E-Bikes

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and e-bikes for deliveries is a significant step toward greening courier and postal operations. Companies like DHL and UPS are leading the way by incorporating electric vehicles into their fleets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, especially in urban areas. E-bikes offer an efficient alternative for smaller, local deliveries, navigating city streets more effectively than traditional vehicles.

Benefits: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions and urban pollution.

Insights can be found in the sustainability reports on DHL’s and UPS’s corporate sites.

Sustainability Guides and Best Practices

Guides and best practices from organizations like the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and insights from consultancy firms such as Boston Consulting Group (BCG) provide a framework for implementing sustainable practices in courier and postal operations. These resources cover a broad range of topics, from digital transformation to adopting green logistics strategies, offering valuable guidance for companies looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Benefits: Offer frameworks for reducing environmental impact while maintaining service quality.

The UPU’s initiatives and BCG's latest thinking on sustainability provide comprehensive guidance.

Packaging Innovation

Sustainable packaging solutions are critical for reducing waste and promoting a circular economy. Innovations in packaging, including the use of biodegradable or recyclable materials, are essential in minimizing the environmental footprint of shipping and delivery. Companies like Packhelp are at the forefront of this movement, offering sustainable packaging options that meet the needs of modern e-commerce and delivery services.

Benefits: Promotes a reduction in waste production and supports a circular economy.

Visit Packhelp for examples of sustainable packaging solutions.

Digital Mail and E-Commerce Platforms

The rise of digital mail and e-commerce platforms has the potential to significantly reduce the need for physical mail, cutting down on paper use and the associated logistics of mail delivery. By transitioning to digital invoices, bills, and communications, companies can decrease their paper consumption, contributing to forest conservation and reducing the carbon footprint associated with traditional mail.

Benefits: Reduces paper usage and the logistics demand for delivering mail and handling product returns.

Research articles and industry reports on digital transformation’s impact are widely available through academic and professional publications.

Adopting these tools and practices significantly contributes to greening operations in the courier and postal sector, aligning with global sustainability goals. Each reference provides a starting point for deeper exploration into the specific areas of interest within the sustainability and digital transformation landscapes.

 

 

Quizz: Module A - Topic 2

1 / 5

EU funding programmes address problems and challenges such as:

2 / 5

Whose goal is reduction in the scope of postal monopolies?

3 / 5

Which is not part of Sustainable Supply Chain Management?

4 / 5

Which is not part of Last-Mile Delivery Management?

5 / 5

Route optimization softwares play a crucial role in minimizing the environmental impact of delivery operations. Which of the below aspects does it take into consideration?

Your score is

The average score is 0%

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3. Planning for sustainable cities with green urban logistics

Module   A. Governance 
Topic   3. Planning for sustainable cities with green urban logistics  
Aim  

  • Analysis of the main aspects of sustainable urban development and sustainable-resilient-smart cities.  

  • Presentation of EU wide sustainable urban mobility and logistics frameworks and guidelines. 

  • Provision and discussion of examples from the implementation of integrated urban planning approaches involving freight transport.  

Learning outcomes  

  • Awareness of the role and potential of freight transport in a smart and sustainable city and in climate resilience. 

  • Knowledge of (strategic) planning processes and the allocation of roles and responsibilities between stakeholders (incl. courier/postal/delivery companies and local authorities). 

  • Critical analysis of current planning practice. 

 

Quizz: Module A - Topic 3

1 / 3

True or false? In the context of SULP, data and information collection by Urban Freight Transport operators is important for the analysis but not always easy to achieve.

2 / 3

True or false? There are two stakeholder groups in SUMP: Local administration and transport operators.

3 / 3

True or false? Environment, society and economy are considered the 3 pillars of sustainable mobility.

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The average score is 33%

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4.1 New Mobility Services: Solutions and business models for urban transportation

Module   B. Management 
Topic   4.1 New Mobility Services: Solutions and business models for urban transportation 
Aim  

  • Presentation of innovative approaches for the green transition of urban transport and NewMobility Services (NMS).  

  • Analysis of emerging governance schemes and business models for the implementation of NMS for urban freight transport and last-mile deliveries. 

Learning outcomes  

  • Updated knowledge on current business approaches in urban mobility and transportation. 

  • In-depth understanding of the role and potential of NMS for green and efficient courier/postal/delivery services. 

 

 

Quizz: Module B - Topic 1

1 / 3

True or false?

New Mobility Services are new types of services and vehicles which are based on digital technology.

2 / 3

True or false?

New Mobility Services bring an undoubtedly positive contribution to the environment

3 / 3

True or false?

The challenges for the implementation of New Mobility Services refer to the stakeholders of both the public and the private sector.

Your score is

The average score is 83%

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4.2 Learning by example #1. Exchange of good practice

Module   B. Management 
Topic   4.2 Learning by example#1. Exchange of good practice on New Mobility Services 
Aim  

  • Based on the content of 4.1, provision of examples from the implementation of NMS-based business models in urban freight transport and city logistics and from the integration of freight and passenger transport in cities.  

  • Discussion on the effectiveness and adaptability of examples 

Learning outcomes  

  • Critical analysis of current practice and projects of developing NMS for courier/postal/delivery services. 

In developing countries, urban freight distribution relies heavily on road vehicles, leading to frequent traffic congestion, inadequate parking, and insufficient loading and unloading areas, all of which impede efficiency. Advocated globally as a sustainable strategy, urban freight distribution via environmentally friendly modes holds significant potential to alleviate congestion and pollution resulting from current freight distribution practices (Singh & Gupta, 2020).

The Transport Decarbonization Alliance outlines 15 distinct challenges for achieving zero emission urban freight and proposes two or more solutions for addressing each challenge. While some solutions focus on technological advancements such as the acquisition, utilization, and charging of battery-electric vehicles, the majority target remedies for structural barriers and behavioral practices. Similarly, Maxner, Dalla Chiara, and Goodchild (2022) categorize different decarbonization strategies for urban freight into three groups:

  1. vehicle technology,
  2. operational strategies, and
  3. city government interventions.

Additionally, the World Economic Forum offers a comprehensive overview of 24 prioritized interventions aimed at facilitating the transition of the last mile delivery ecosystem. These interventions include aspects such as vehicle modification, secure delivery methods, customer movement, consolidation efforts, final leg adjustments, and enhancements to the delivery environment. Together, these publications showcase the diverse range of approaches for promoting sustainability transitions in urban freight and provide numerous examples of both technological innovations and shifts in behavior (Ystmark Bjerkan & Babri, 2024).

Technological and behavioral changes foster sustainable shifts in urban freight (Ystmark Bjerkan & Babri, 2024).
Technological and behavioral changes foster sustainable shifts in urban freight (Ystmark Bjerkan & Babri, 2024).

Technological shifts primarily entail replacing one technology with another. In the realm of urban freight, this might involve substituting fossil-fuel vans and lorries with electric vehicles, vehicles powered by alternative fuels, Euro6 vehicles, or cargo-bikes. Previous research has extensively explored new technologies and vehicles for urban freight. Electric bicycles are proposed as a substitute for vehicles where feasible in terms of speed and capacity limitations (Bosona, 2020). While the utilization of drones for goods delivery has been investigated primarily in rural areas, there is potential for drone-based delivery in urban settings as well.

Research in operations management, supply chain management, and industrial engineering has predominantly explored methods for optimizing operational practices. These methods include maximizing load factor, optimizing routes, and adjusting lot sizes (Pan et al., 2021). Additionally, studies have demonstrated that off-hour delivery can effectively decrease emissions from urban freight transport (Holguín-Veras et al., 2018).

The use of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs) (Díaz-Ramírez et al., 2023)

The integration of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs) represents a fundamental step towards achieving a more sustainable urban distribution network, yet it confronts numerous unresolved challenges. These include:

i) Determining the optimal mix of vehicle technologies (such as fuel and electric power) to align with both current and future city mobility infrastructure (including lanes, charging stations, and electricity availability).

ii) Establishing strategic locations for urban distribution centers to efficiently support operations within the designated region.

iii) Enhancing the performance of LEFVs to lower operational costs and to mitigate air pollutant emissions, traffic congestion, and noise levels in urban areas.

iv) Developing effective communication strategies based on previous implementation experiences.

Electric-assisted freight bicycles and tricycles, referred to hereafter as light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs), are anticipated to exhibit superior performance in last-mile distribution. This is evidenced by reduced parking times and costs, lower ownership expenses, enhanced delivery reliability, fewer severe collisions, and decreased air pollutant emissions. However, their utilization also entails certain limitations, particularly concerning the size of the delivery zone, route length, demand density, topographical challenges, and regulatory constraints. In line with the European example, governments across Latin America are also allocating resources to enhance bicycle-friendly urban infrastructure, including the expansion of bike lanes. This investment aims to promote eco-friendly transportation methods, particularly in densely populated areas.

Maximizing the advantages of electric vehicles (EVs) in logistics hinges upon recognizing the nuances of various contexts (EUFAL, 2022). Thus, the European Electric Urban Freight and Logistics (EUFAL) initiative was initiated in 2020. It serves as a knowledge-sharing platform, equipping companies seeking to integrate electric vehicles into their fleets with valuable tools tailored to different phases of the process (Díaz-Ramírez et al., 2023).

Light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs) are increasingly viewed as a sustainable delivery solution, particularly in response to tightening emission regulations within urban areas, ensuring ongoing access. This significance is underscored by the prospective establishment of zero-emission zones by 2030 in selected European cities, along with more concrete steps anticipated by 2025 in Dutch urban centers. Additionally, in densely populated and challenging-to-access inner city and neighborhood areas, smaller vehicles offer advantages in terms of easier and swifter access. Furthermore, when coupled with efforts to minimize lead times and optimize vehicle load factors, operational and economic considerations also come into play. Beyond these practical aspects, softer factors contribute to the growing commercial interest in LEFVs, including commitments to corporate social responsibility, as well as opportunities for company differentiation and specialization (Kin et al., 2024).

A light electric freight vehicle (LEFV) encompasses a range of transportation options including bicycles, mopeds, or compact vehicles equipped with electric support or drive mechanisms, designed for the transportation of goods and people at limited speeds. Generally, LEFVs are characterized by their quiet operation, flexibility in usage, emission-free nature, and smaller spatial footprint compared to conventional delivery vehicles.

The emergence of the LEFV market parallels that of electric vans (BEV-N1). LEFVs encompass a diverse array of vehicles primarily produced by small manufacturers. Over time, the market has witnessed an increase in the variety of LEFVs available, coupled with improvements in their loading capacity, range, and usability. Despite these advancements, there remains a degree of hesitation among logistics professionals towards adopting LEFVs. LEFVs are categorized into three distinct groups:

Three classes of LEFVs
Three classes of LEFVs

Explaining the adoption of LEFVs entails considering a complex interplay of factors. Narayanan & Antoniou (2022) offer a comprehensive framework comprising six elements that influence the penetration of cargobikes:

  • Operations: This encompasses factors such as the type of goods being transported, delivery density, and the area served.
  • Vehicular: Factors related to the vehicle itself, including features like weather protection, pricing, and range.
  • Infrastructural: This involves considerations such as the condition of cycling infrastructure, urban area morphology, availability of (overnight) storage facilities, and charging infrastructure.
  • Workforce: Demographic factors such as increasing age, income levels, and lower education levels can negatively impact the willingness to adopt a cargobike.
  • Organizational: This includes aspects like attitudes towards sustainability, managerial support, interest in technological innovation, and perceived operational and intangible benefits.
  • Policy and urban planning: This category encompasses factors such as regulatory restrictions, parking policies, trial schemes, and monetary incentives aimed at promoting LEFV adoption.

Examples of mopeds and compact vehicles, escorted by images to illustrate their unique features

Mopeds:

  • Microcars: Microcars are the smallest car category currently still in production. They bridge the gap between motorcycles and cars, often powered by motorcycle engines. Examples include the Fiat 500 and the Peel P50 (considered the smallest production car ever made).
  • Electric Microcars: Lightweight and ideal for lower-powered electric motors. Examples include the Renault Twizy and the Tazzari Zero.
  • Three-Wheeled Microcars: Some microcars have a 3-wheel configuration, like the Peel P50

Compact Vehicles:

  • Subcompact Cars: Slightly smaller than compact cars, these offer a balance between space and efficiency. Examples include the Mini Hatch, Ford Fiesta, and Toyota Yaris.
  • Compact Cars: These versatile vehicles fit a range of body shapes. Popular models include the Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic and Hyundai Elantra.

Consequently, both mopeds and compact vehicles play important roles in urban mobility, providing efficient and practical transportation options. (https://lemonbin.com)

Moped Small motorcycle (https://www.bing.com)
Moped Small motorcycle (https://www.bing.com)

electric micro-car seats 3, or carries 360 lb of cargo (https://www.pinterest.at)
Electric micro-car seats 3, or carries 360 lb of cargo (https://www.pinterest.at)

Microcar Toyota Ultra-compact BEV Concept Model for Business (Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV Concept Model for Business | Small Cars Club)
Microcar Toyota Ultra-compact BEV Concept Model for Business (Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV Concept Model for Business | Small Cars Club)

The potential of Electric Cargo Bikes (E-CBs)

With the current market for electric cars, particularly larger models, remaining limited, attention is shifting towards the introduction of smaller electric vehicles like electric cargo bikes (E-CBs). These vehicles are being discussed as a compelling option for enhancing the sustainability of urban transportation (Lenz & Riehle, 2012). E-CBs are especially promising because they offer greater load capacity and the ability to cover longer distances compared to traditional human-powered cargo bikes, addressing key limitations such as range, payload capacity, and driver fatigue.

Image of a two-wheeled electric cargo bike (E-CB)
Image of a two-wheeled electric cargo bike (E-CB)

This particular design, known as the "Long John," features a cargo box positioned between the front wheels and handlebars. It is typically preferred by messengers for point-to-point shipments over tricycles.  In order to determine the potential success of a new vehicle type in the urban courier logistics market, it is crucial to understand the current structures influenced by the demand for both bike and car shipments.

Typical expenses for vehicles in courier services.
Typical expenses for vehicles in courier services.

Although courier services represent a smaller segment within the logistics industry compared to others, there is significant demand for these premium transportation services, particularly in urban centers with strong economic activity. Throughout the day, the sight of bike or car messengers navigating European city streets is a common occurrence. Car and bike messengers directly compete with each other, as their markets largely intersect spatially, temporally, and in terms of the types of goods transported. For small-scale deliveries such as media products, documents, spare parts, or laboratory samples, the maximum payload of a car is seldom required.

Electric cargo bikes (E-CBs) present an innovative mode of transportation for courier shipments. Positioned between bikes and cars in terms of cost, payload capacity, and range, E-CBs have potential in the market. Urban areas, grappling with congestion and restricted access due to environmental zones or delivery time constraints, are likely to offer the most promising opportunities for E-CBs. The extent to which E-CBs penetrate existing markets for bike and car shipments, or if they create a new market segment, remains to be seen. Further research may shed light on how E-CB adoption will be influenced by broader trends in the courier, express, and parcel (CEP) market, such as the rise of business-to-consumer (B2C) deliveries, micro-consolidation practices, or the demand for high-quality logistics services like same-day delivery (Gruber et al., 2014).

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5.1 Connected and automated mobility and future city logistics

Module   B. Management 
Topic   5.1 Connected and automated mobility and future city logistics  
Aim  

  • Presentation of technological trends for the digital transition of urban transport and Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility (CCAM).  

  • Analysis of the potential contribution of CCAM to formulate advanced standards for courier/postal/delivery service and the related challenges.  

Learning outcomes  

  • Updated knowledge on future technological trends in urban mobility and freight transportation. 

  • In-depth understanding of the role and potential of CCAM for the digital and green shift of efficient courier/postal/delivery operations. 

 

 

Quizz: Module B - Topic 3

1 / 4

True or false?

The implementation of autonomous mobility can reduce the environmental impact of transportation but it is expected to increase operational costs.

2 / 4

True or false?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can be used in cities only for emergency service, medical supplies and traffic surveillance.

3 / 4

True or false?

Cargo-bikes and sidewalk robots can be combined to improve the efficiency and sustainability of last-mile delivery.

4 / 4

True or false?

Autonomous vehicles are self-driven cars which can change accessibility and mobility conditions.

Your score is

The average score is 0%

0%

 

5.2 Learning by example #2. Exchange of good practice

Module   B. Management 
Topic  5.2 Learning by example#2. Exchange of good practice on Connected and Automated transport  
Aim  

  • Based on the content of 5.1, provision of examples from the testing and implementation of connected and automated urban freight transport solutions.  

  • Discussion on the effectiveness and adaptability of examples  

Learning outcomes  

  • Critical analysis of current practice and projects of adopting connected and automated transport solutions for courier/postal/delivery services. 

Autonomous vehicles have been a prominent topic in recent years. Connected and automated transport (CAT) technologies play a crucial role in enhancing transport efficiency and safety. They facilitate smoother traffic flow, optimize infrastructure and public transportation usage, and promote multi-modal transport solutions. Transport research and innovation have increasingly focused on CAT technologies, both within private companies and the public sector. While lower levels of connectivity and automation are already a reality, further testing is essential for more advanced levels. Pilot demonstrations of CAT technologies are underway, emphasizing technological readiness, reliability, and safety in complex transport scenarios. (Article: Connected and Automated Transport: Research and Innovation Capacity in Europe, September 2020, authors: Konstantinos Gkoumas, Mitchell van Balen, Anastasios Tsakalidis, Ferenc Pekar).

However, CAT also presents challenges across all transport modes. These challenges encompass the development of hardware and software technologies, vehicle infrastructure, data communication, decision-making levels, and the validation of these innovations through real-world testing in individual mobility scenarios, passenger transport, and freight logistics.

In road transport, understanding and addressing the interaction between drivers, passengers, and other road users with automated vehicles is crucial during the engineering process. Additionally, the longevity of rail rolling stock and infrastructure, variations in legacy systems, and diverse operational rules across European countries may impact the speed of deploying connected and automated systems.

While automated, remote-control technologies have seen increased adoption in waterborne transport, their application has primarily focused on testing, with limited vessel deliveries using these technologies.

The Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA) Roadmap for Connected and Automated Transport in 2019 builds upon and expands the research and innovation initiatives outlined in the 2017 STRIA CAT Roadmap. It outlines necessary actions to address challenges and gaps in CAT within the European transport sector. (https://trimis.ec.europa.eu)

Key research and innovation pathways

The Connected and Automated Transport (CAT) roadmap focuses on strategic actions aimed at developing technologies and facilitating their rapid implementation. It ensures the competitiveness of European industry and encourages potentially transformative innovations that could lead to novel transport services. Additionally, this roadmap contributes to the decarbonization goals of the European transport sector, aligning with EU energy and climate targets. The roadmap outlines specific steps to address gaps and capitalize on opportunities related to CAT in Europe. Considering road, rail, and waterborne transport, each mode has distinct spatial dimensions, technological requirements, physical infrastructure, human interactions, and business and legal frameworks. (https://trimis.ec.europa.eu/)

Current developments

  • Many car and truck manufacturers are developing and rolling out vehicles with higher automation. An increasing number of European cars are already equipped with partial automation technologies, and the next step is the introduction of vehicles where the driver can choose whether to drive or not.
    Automated trucks and truck platooning are being tested on motorways in Europe. User-friendly automated public transport concepts have been demonstrated. Connectivity enables and will further expand automated vehicle performance by making distributed information and big data accessible.
  • CAT technologies are already embedded in rail-bound transport such as metro systems, in some cities, automated driverless rail-bound systems can also be found. However, due to a diversified European rail sector the implementation of CAT technologies is slow and lowers competitiveness.
    The Strategic Rail Research and innovation Agenda and related roadmaps for various parts of rail-bound systems as well as the multi-annual action plan of the Shift2Rail initiative address several aspects of automation and connectivity.
  • Ship automation is well advanced with most modern ships and vessels being equipped with systems such as target detecting radars, autopilots and track pilots using satellite positioning. Some autonomous ship demonstrations have been made, but technology is still at a low readiness level. Safety is a main area where automation is expected to provide improvements, such as further addressing the human factor.
    Better data integration and improved monitoring will allow CAT to contribute to a competitive European shipping industry and improve security in the transport systems. However, digital connectivity is a prerequisite for further improvements to increase capacity and coverage. (https://trimis.ec.europa.eu/)

Real-World Examples

Examples of automated urban freight delivery concepts

These innovations aim to enhance efficiency, reduce congestion, and improve last-mile delivery services in urban areas.

Automated Delivery Vehicles

These vehicles operate in various environments, including sidewalks, private roads, and public roads. They serve different purposes such as home delivery, mobile storage lockers, and roving retail stores. Foundational technologies enable their automation.

(https://transportgeography.org/contents/geography-city-logistics/autonomous-vehicles-urban-deliveries/)

Classification of Automation for Urban Deliveries:

Drones: Air-based drones are also used for urban deliveries, especially in areas with traffic congestion or difficult terrain.

DHL EXPRESS LAUNCHES ITS FIRST REGULAR FULLY AUTOMATED AND INTELLIGENT URBAN DRONE DELIVERY SERVICE

  • DHL Express and Ehang entered into a strategic partnership in China to realize a major innovation in smart logistics

  • Solution includes fully autonomous loading and offloading and will increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness with less energy consumption

  • The companies plan to further develop and upgrade smart drone delivery solutions for last mile delivery

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express delivery service provider, and the world’s leading intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China.

The recently customized route, designed exclusively for a DHL customer, spans approximately eight kilometers between the customer’s location and the DHL service center in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Utilizing EHang’s cutting-edge Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) from their newly launched Falcon series, this intelligent drone delivery solution surpasses the challenges posed by complex road conditions and urban traffic congestion. Notably, it significantly reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to just eight minutes, resulting in cost savings of up to 80% per delivery. Additionally, compared to traditional road transportation, it boasts reduced energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint.

The EHang Falcon smart drone, equipped with eight propellers on four arms, incorporates multiple redundant systems for full backup and features smart and secure flight control modules. Its high-performance capabilities include vertical take-off and landing, precise GPS and visual identification, intelligent flight path planning, and fully automated flight with real-time network connectivity and scheduling. These drones, capable of carrying up to 5 kilograms of cargo per flight, take off and land on specially designed intelligent cabinets that facilitate fully autonomous loading and unloading of shipments. These cabinets seamlessly integrate with automated processes such as sorting, scanning, and express mail storage, and they even boast advanced features like facial recognition and ID scanning.

This innovative smart drone delivery solution not only enhances DHL’s delivery capabilities but also revolutionizes the customer experience in the logistics sector. It opens up new avenues for sustainable growth and contributes significantly to the economy. Given the increasing prominence of B2C business operations and delivery services in China, leveraging drones for express delivery provides an ingenious solution to meet the rising demand for time-sensitive deliveries, especially for last-mile delivery in urban areas.

Building upon the successful launch of its first fully automated, intelligent drone delivery solution in China, DHL remains committed to identifying new routes that cater to clients seeking tailored customer services and logistics solutions. Collaborating closely with EHang, DHL aims to develop a second generation of drones in the near future, further enhancing capacity and range for drone-operated express delivery.

(Press Release: Bonn/Guangzhou (China), 05/16/2019, https://www.dhl.com/)

DHL delivery drone
(https://www.bing.com/)

AMAZON DRONES FOR URBAN DELIVERIES

Amazon Prime Air has been diligently working to realize drone deliveries. The challenge lies in swiftly delivering items to customers—quickly, cost-effectively, and most importantly, safely—in less than an hour. Their latest drone design, the MK27-2, represents a significant step toward achieving this goal.

The MK27-2 features a hexagonal design, providing six degrees of freedom for stability during flight. Additionally, its propellers have been meticulously crafted to minimize high-frequency soundwaves, resulting in a quieter operation.

Amazon Drone

MK27-2 the latest design. Its unique hexagonal design provides six degrees of freedom for stability. The propellers have been specifically designed to minimize high-frequency soundwaves. (Amazon Prime Air prepares for drone deliveries (aboutamazon.com)

Sidewalk Robots: These autonomous robots operate on sidewalks and are designed for last-mile deliveries.

Robots Now Delivering at Missouri State University

Autonomous robots are now providing food delivery services on the campus of Missouri State University. These twenty self-driving robots, launched in collaboration with Chartwells Higher Education, can deliver meals and beverages from various campus eateries, including Einstein Bros. Bagels, Subway, Panda Express, and Market Cafe 1905, to any location on the main campus. Users simply place their orders through an app and drop a pin indicating where they want their delivery to be sent. Upon the robot’s arrival, users receive an alert, meet the robot, and unlock it via the app. The delivery process typically takes only a few minutes, depending on the menu items ordered and the distance the robot needs to travel.

In the near future, this service will also integrate with the student meal plan dining dollars. These autonomous robots are already operational on campuses across the country, including Bowling Green State University, University of Houston, University of Utah, and University of Idaho. Since their launch, all campuses have expanded the number of robots, dining choices, and operating hours to meet the growing demand for this innovative food delivery solution.

(Company News, FER Edit, September 15, 2022, https://www.fermag.com/articles/robots-now-delivering-at-missouri-state-university/)

Robot Delivery
(https://www.bing.com/)

Road Robots: These vehicles use road infrastructure and can navigate on streets.

Highways England is using an autonomous ROBOT to paint white lines.

Highways England has introduced an innovative solution to expedite roadworks: an autonomous robot designed specifically for line painting. Unlike the traditional method that would require two human engineers an entire week, this timesaving robot can mark up a road section in just four hours. Developed by contractor WJ, the robotic pre-marker utilizes precise positioning technology to identify where white lines need to be painted. Recently, it successfully marked an eight-mile section of the M6 motorway in Staffordshire within a remarkably short timeframe. The robot’s efficiency is gaining popularity among Highways England contractors, as it has also been deployed on other major routes such as the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon, M4, M1, and M60

(Richard Aucock, JANUARY 2, 2020, Highways England is using an autonomous ROBOT to paint white lines (motoringresearch.com)

Robot Delivery
(https://www.bing.com/)

 

6. Big data and information sharing applications for urban logistics

Module   C. Operation 
Topic   6. Big data and information sharing applications for urban logistics 
Aim  

  • Analysis of main concepts and considerations related to big data and information sharing.  

  • Presentation of common practice in the implementation of big data collection, management and sharing to enhance urban logistics. 

  • Provision and discussion of examples from the use of (big) data sharing in courier/postal/delivery transport operations.  

Learning outcomes  

  • Awareness of the role and potential of big data and information sharing to city logistics and urban freight transportation. 

  • Increased understanding of requirements and challenges for the use of big data and information sharing options to support informed decision making. 

  • Critical analysis of current practice and trends. 

 

 

Quizz: Module C - Topic 1

1 / 10

According to the text, which of the following is NOT listed as a characteristic of the big data-driven future of transportation?

2 / 10

Which emerging technology integration is enabled by seamless data sharing across providers?

3 / 10

How can big data help enhance transportation equity?

4 / 10

What is a key use of big data for improving urban planning?

5 / 10

Which mode of transportation benefits from real-time driver-passenger matching enabled by big data?

6 / 10

What type of data is used for real-time route optimization in navigation apps?

7 / 10

Which technology allows travelers to switch between mobile carriers digitally without changing physical SIM cards?

8 / 10

As of 2023, what is the estimated global smartphone penetration rate?

9 / 10

Which of the following is NOT listed as one of the mobility players in world cities?

10 / 10

How many megacities (dense metro areas with over 10 million people) are projected to exist by 2030?

Your score is

The average score is 30%

0%

 

7.1 Greening courier/postal/delivery services: Transport operations

Module   C. Operation 
Topic   7.1 Greening courier/postal/delivery services: Transport operations 
Aim  

  • Presentation of different methods and approaches to achieve the greening of courier/postal/delivery transport operations.  

  • Analysis of potential impacts on the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of transport operations by different methods. 

Learning outcomes  

  • In depth knowledge of an array of alternatives for the greening of different transport operations.  

  • Understanding of practical issues and concerns for the application of green transport operations. 

Transport services are trying to become more and more environmentally friendly. The methods used vary depending on their objectives, the size of the companies as well as the requirement of each region. Below will be presented some of the methods used by delivery, courier, and post companies.

Crowdsourced as a method of reducing unnecessary routes.

A widespread delivery service is that of food delivery. Some online food delivery companies, try to effectively connect costumers with a broad selection of restaurants by utilizing a crowdsourced fleet of couriers. That is something that every courier service company tries to achieve. The objective is to match each courier with as many orders as possible and yet, keep the delivery service fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly.

The main strategy is batching orders allowing couriers to handle multiple pickups and deliveries in a single route.

The best way for companies to achieve such objectives is to integrate route planning software like Artificial Intelligence (AI). By using that kind of technology, couriers have access to real-time traffic condition to determine the most efficient routes for couriers to ensure that multiple deliveries can be conducted as quick and as possible in the most effective sequence. Route optimisation software allows businesses to plan multi-stop deliveries calculating the shortest route and the most efficient order. This kind of technology helps companies reduce the time and the resources spent on each delivery. This minimizes a lot the carbon footprint by reducing unnecessary routes and also makes the delivery process more sustainable and cost-effective.

As mentioned above, crowdsourcing seems to be a smart solution for courier companies. Crowdsourcing encompasses various transportation methods, and it relates to collaboration between delivery companies and everyday citizens. These methods include personal vehicles, and public transport as well. Sometimes in this kind of delivery management, crowdsourced couriers are natural persons that deliver parcels as a secondary activity as they travel from one place to another. One type of crowdsourcing delivery can be achieved through the use of car instead of motorbikes as there is need. In many cases, the use of the car may seem more harmful to the environment than the use of a motorbike. According to one study, there are exceptions, as the limited capacity of a motorcycle forces the driver to make many more routes than they would in a car, and ultimately consumes more time burning fuel on the way.

Another way recommended is leveraging taxis, daily bus lines or railway lines for crowdsourced delivery. In this case courier companies allow couriers to travel with a bus across different zones, when possible, using a single ticket. By choosing to deliver packages this way, delivery businesses cutting down on pollution and traffic by using transport that already exists. This approach shows an effective way to improve how packages get delivered in big cities, proving that we can find smarter, more sustainable ways to solve the challenges of getting packages to their final destination.

Green Vehicles like Electric Vehicles and drones as an environmentally friendly and efficient solution

Another method for greening courier/postal/delivery services suggested is transportation via electric vehicles. The transition towards environmentally friendly urban logistics is becoming a priority worldwide. Electric Vehicles (EVs) and drones are becoming a key player in making delivery, courier and postal logistic more efficient and environmental friendly. Interest in EVs has existed since the 1970s, when the problems of air quality, global warming, and oil dependence began to emerge. They offer a significant advantage by reducing local pollution of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The integration of EVs into the existing fleets of delivery vehicles promises not only to alleviate the environmental burden but also to meet the growing demand for efficient urban freight transportation. This makes them a compelling choice for urban logistic and for e-commerce deliveries, where there is a dramatic increase in volume in recent years and especially after Covid-19.

The primary goal of existing courier companies should focus on enriching their current fleet with electric vehicles. This process needs to be carried out with careful planning so that the cost of electric vehicles can be quickly recouped, allowing for their multiplication. Undoubtedly, the purchase cost of such vehicles, as well as their charging procedure, is significant. Therefore, it is essential that the planning is such that companies can fully utilize these vehicles, employing them on routes that can support their charging need, ultimately allowing companies to profit and continuously strengthen their fleet. It's important to note that this method should also be applied to cold chain logistics, as it is a type of transportation service that significantly contributes to environmental pollution due to its substantial gas emissions.

electric van

As for drones, they surely are a promising solution of reducing road traffic and deal with last-mile delivery challenges.

Using an example cited in the literature by Boysen et al., drones can be utilized in the final stage of delivery. One innovative approach involves using trucks as mobile distribution centres from which drones take off for the delivery of packages to their destination and then return. This practise offers several advantages:

  • Reducing delivery costs by streamlining the delivery process and minimizing the need for traditional delivery methods.
  • Avoids traffic congestion, enabling quicker delivery times and reducing delays caused by road traffic.
  • Easily reaches remote or difficult-to-access areas, where traditional delivery vehicles might struggle to deliver.
  • Is environmentally friendly, as drones can operate minimal environmental impact compare
  • d to conventional vehicles, contributing to lower carbon emissions and less pollution.

advantages of drone delivery

On-Demand Delivery

On-Demand Delivery (ODD) is a smart move for companies that significantly benefits both business’s environmental footprint and costumer satisfaction. Unsuccessful deliveries increase companies’ carbon footprint due to the extra trips made and also generate added costs. By implementing ODD method, companies enable a more efficient delivery process that aligns with their sustainability goals and enhances the overall costumer experience.

Here are some key advantages of offering ODD:

  • Flexibility in Delivery: Costumers have the opportunity to decide the exact time and place for their deliveries. This flexibility reduces a lot the case of failed deliveries.
  • Customized Delivery Options:

    • Neighbour’s place: Costumers are able to choose to have their parcels safely left with a neighbour, ensuring their items are received even in their absence.
    • Parcel Lockers: Utilizing secure parcel lockers means costumers can pick up their items at their convenience without worrying about being home for the delivery.
    • Alternate Address: Offering the option to deliver to an alternate address, such as a workplace, guarantees that customers receive their packages on the first attempt.

  • Enhanced Customer Loyalty: By providing an ODD service, you not only meet but exceed costumer expectations, fostering a stronger connection and loyalty to your brand.
  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Successful first – time deliveries mean fewer trips, directly lowering your business’s carbon emission supporting sustainability efforts.Incorporating On-Demand Delivery into their services makes the business as a customer – centric and environmentally conscious brand and also streamlines delivery operations for better efficiency and reduced costs. It’s a total win for the environment, costumers, and the company.

Eco-driving

Eco-driving is about emphasize fuel efficiency and minimize the environmental footprint of driving. It is relevant for all drives, whether they are operating long-distance trucks or commuting daily. This approach relies on several simple impactful techniques. By adopting eco-driving, transport companies save on fuel costs and contribute to a greener planet. There are plenty methods to follow:

Smooth Operations: This method is about avoiding rapid starts and stops. Instead, focus on accelerating smoothly and braking softly. It helps save on fuel while also diminishing the wear on the vehicle.

Maintaining Optimal Speed: Drive at a moderate speed. Excessive speed consumes more fuel. By maintaining an optimal speed driver can significantly enhance vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Tire Pressure Maintenance: Keeping ties properly inflated is a small but critical aspect of eco- driving. Under-inflated tire can lead to increased fuel consumption due to higher rolling resistance.

Efficient Route Planning: Before start driving, Drivers should learn planning their route to avoid heavy traffic and reduce travel distance. Utilizing GPS and traffic apps can help identify the quickest routes and avoid congestion.

Regular Vehicle Maintenace: A well-maintained vehicle runs more efficiently and emits fewer pollutants. Regular check and servicing can prevent larger issues down the line and ensure vehicle is running as cleanly as possible.

Exploring Alternative Fuel and Vehicles: Courier business’s have to consider the use of vehicles that run on alternative fuels or even electric vehicles. These options can dramatically reduce carbon footprint.

By integrating this kind of eco-driving practises into their daily driving habits, courier companies will not only contribute to environmental preservation but also have a more cos-effective and safer driving experience.

Right turns as an eco-driving method

In connection with eco-driving, courier companies have started adopting a method that involves choosing routes with right turns instead of left turns. The reason behind this method is that right turns, in countries where traffic drives on the right side of the road, are safer and more efficient. This is because right turns typically avoid crossing paths with oncoming traffic, which significantly reduces the risk of collisions and decreases waiting time at traffic lights. This strategic choice improves the smoothness and speed of the delivery route, leading to a notable reduction in fuel consumption and, consequently, lower CO2 emissions.

Moreover, avoiding left turns and preferring right turns also helps reduce traffic congestion, as it keeps traffic flow smoother and more continuous. This not contributes to faster delivery times and enhances the overall safety of the courier drivers and the general public. By integrating such strategies into their route planning, courier companies can achieve a more efficient distribution process, which is crucial for meeting delivery deadlines and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction. This strategy, already adopted by courier companies, is part of broader efforts to promote greener and more sustainable distribution practices within the logistics sector. It exemplifies how thoughtful route planning and eco-driving techniques can have a positive impact on the environment while improving operational efficiency.

Cargo bikes

Cargo bikes are emerging as a highly effective solution for courier companies aiming to adopt greener practices. Their popularity in the logistics industry is growing due to their significant environmental benefits and operational efficiency, particularly in urban settings. Cargo bikes excel in making short-distance deliveries faster than traditional vehicles by manoeuvring through narrow city spaces with ease. Unlike cars, they can bypass traffic jams by using bike lanes, parks, and other shortcuts that aren't accessible to larger vehicles. This not only accelerates the delivery times but also greatly reduces emissions and noise pollution. Furthermore, cargo bikes eliminate the time and hassle associated with finding parking, which is often a significant challenge in busy city areas. By incorporating cargo bikes into their delivery fleet, courier companies can enhance their efficiency, contribute to reducing urban congestion, and support a cleaner, quieter urban environment. This sustainable approach to delivery aligns well with increasing environmental consciousness and the push for more eco-friendly urban planning and transport solutions.

Cargo bikes are game changers when it comes to delivering goods around town. Let's dive into what makes them so special:

  • Agility and Speed: Their compact size allows for swift navigation through congested streets and easier parking near delivery destinations.
  • Eco-friendly: They are powered electrically, resulting in minimal noise and no direct emissions.
  • Cost-Effective: Lower acquisition and maintenance costs compared to traditional delivery vans.

Using these eco-friendly vehicles as a delivery method, is seriously a way to cut down on pollution and make last-mile deliveries smarter.

Collaboration with other delivery partners

Collaborating with logistics partners is a smart way for business’s focused on transport operations to minimize their environmental impact and enhance operational efficiency. This type of collaboration enables the sharing of transport resources, leading to an eco-friendlier approach to the movement of packages.

Key Strategies for Eco-Friendly Transport Operations:

  • Resource Sharing: In the transportation industry, businesses can collaborate to share transport resources and capabilities, which effectively reduces the number of necessary travel routes. This strategy not only minimizes fuel consumption but also cuts down on emissions, contributing to environmental sustainability goals. At the same time, it preserves the efficiency of the supply chain by optimizing the use of available resources. This approach not only helps in cost savings but also promotes a more eco-friendly logistics operation.

 

  • Co-landing Shipments: This Strategy involves different companies working together to ensure that their vehicles are fully loaded with combined shipments. By maximizing vehicle capacity reduces the total number of trips required, which cuts down on emissions and operational costs. Also, companies can enhance their greening efforts by merging their transport routes. Sharing routes allows for the delivery of goods to the same area with minimized trips, thereby conserving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

 

All these strategies lead courier companies to minimize trips and optimize route planning and thereafter decreasing the amount of CO2 and other pollutants released into the atmosphere. Also, shared use of transport resources ensures a more efficient logistic process, reducing the demand for additional vehicle and thus conserving energy and materials.

 

 

Quizz: Module C - Topic 2

1 / 10

Collaboration with delivery partners does not affect environmental impact

2 / 10

Eco-driving includes techniques such as smooth driving and proper tire inflation to save fuel.

3 / 10

On-Demand Delivery allows customers to choose the delivery time and location.

4 / 10

Electric vehicles (EVs) help reduce urban pollution.

5 / 10

AI can be used to optimize delivery routes by considering real-time traffic conditions.

6 / 10

What does "right turn routing" help to achieve in delivery logistics?

7 / 10

What is a key advantage of cargo bikes in urban deliveries?

8 / 10

What is one benefit of using drones for delivery?

9 / 10

Which of the following transport methods can couriers use to reduce pollution and traffic?

10 / 10

What is the purpose of batching orders in delivery services?

Your score is

The average score is 30%

0%

 

7.2 Greening courier/postal/delivery services: Facilities and non-transport operations

Module   C. Operation 
Topic   7.2 Greening courier/postal/delivery services: Facilities and non-transport operations 
Aim  

  • Presentation of different methods and approaches to achieve the greening of courier/postal/delivery facilities and non-transport operations.  

  • Analysis of potential impacts on the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of facilities and non-transport operations by different methods. 

Learning outcomes  

  • In depth knowledge of an array of alternatives for the greening of facilities and non-transport operations.  

  • Understanding of practical issues and concerns for the greening of facilities and non-transport operations. 

Transport companies are increasingly striving to become environmentally friendly. Below, we will discuss several methods aimed at this purpose that pertain to all the functions and services of such a company, except for the last-mile delivery.

Green buildings

 In the transport sectors, a good solution to make this process more environmentally friendly would be the use of green buildings. These types of buildings are designed to use energy more efficiently, which is a significant advantage for logistic centres in these industries. Features like good insulation, solar panels, and energy-saving lights can significantly lower the energy costs for maintaining large distribution centres. Additionally, features like living walls and green roofs can reduce the heat in cities, leading to a cooler indoor environment that cuts down on air conditioning use and saves energy.

Another requirement for green buildings is that they are entirely constructed from non-toxic and sustainable materials. This, besides being environmentally friendly, is also worker friendly. Also, green buildings typically maximize natural lighting and strive for good air quality. All these factors can motivate workers and consequently make their work more efficient.

Additionally, green buildings can be designed with dedicated spaces for recycling and waste management, which is undoubtedly a useful benefit for courier, postal and delivery businesses. Green buildings can incorporate systems designed to collect and reuse water. This feature is beneficial for businesses that maintain vehicle fleets, such as courier and delivery companies, because it enables them to wash and maintain vehicles in a more sustainable way. Reusing water reduces the overall water consumption and helps in managing resources more efficiently. All the above features can also serve as a way to attract customers who are interested in companies that operate in an environmentally friendly manner.Top of Form

Overall, by using green building, courier, delivery, and postal businesses reduce their impact to the environment and their energy footprint, lower their utility costs, becoming more efficient and also create a healthier workplace for employees.

Eco-packaging

In the industry of courier and delivery businesses, eco – friendly packaging is becoming a more and more popular strategic, due to environmental sustainability and also costumer satisfaction. As the awareness of the environmental impact grows, more companies are recognizing the need to adopt sustainable packaging solutions.

Eco -friendly packaging involves using material and also practices that reduce the ecological footprint during the products’ lifecycle. This strategic includes using biodegradable, recyclable and reusable materials. That kind of materials are bamboo, recycled cardboard, and organic textiles which are designed to minimize waste and greenhouse emissions. For example, instead of traditional bubble wrap companies use biodegradable packing peanuts made from starch or corrugated cardboard wraps. The previous options are both effective and environmentally friendly.

Eco-friendly packaging not only reduces environmental impact but also enhances the brand image and potentially increases customer trust. Many customers now base their purchasing decisions on the environmental impact of their choices.

In many countries, using recyclable or sustainable materials can lead to cost reductions due to tax incentives. Furthermore, sustainable packaging involves more than just the materials used, it also concerns how products are packaged. Excessive wrapping is unnecessary, even for fragile items, as long as proper proportions are maintained for each product. Packaging should be adaptable to fit the size of each product to reduce the overall weight and volume, which can decrease transportation costs at later stages. It is also crucial for companies to manage the packaging process efficiently when multiple products are shipped to the same customer, ensuring that products are packed optimally to avoid unnecessary packaging.

recycled delivery bag

To sum up, as the demand for sustainable practices continues to grow, courier and delivery businesses have a significant opportunity to lead the way in adopting eco-friendly packaging solutions. Not only does this approach reduce environmental impact, but it also offers economic benefits through cost savings on materials and compliance with environmental regulations, while simultaneously enhancing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Sustainable packaging is not just a trend but a practical strategy that can drive long-term success in the competitive courier and delivery industry.

Heating and cooling system management

As courier companies try becoming more environmentally friendly, one key area is focusing on their heating and cooling system. The utilization of advanced technology in these systems can reduce energy use, lower costs, and cut down pollution.

One effective method is using high efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system that are controlled by smart systems like Model Predictive Control (MPC). These systems are smart because they can adjust how they operate based on what is happening inside the building and the weather outside. This means that they use energy only when needed, which saves a lot of power and reduces costs.

By upgrading to these smart HVAC systems, courier companies can not only save money but also help the environment by using less energy and creating fewer emissions. This makes them more appealing to customers who care about the planet and helps them meet stricter environmental rules. Overall, investing in green heating and cooling systems is a smart move for modern courier businesses.

Green Procurement

In the transportation industry, the utilization of green procurement strategies is becoming indispensable. These practices help courier, delivery and postal companies meet international standards for sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.

There are a lot of different ways for courier companies to use green procurement.

  • Setting standards for suppliers and contractors.

Courier companies can set rules that their suppliers and contractors must follow environmental and social standards. This includes making sure they do not pollute, respect workers’ rights and companies may ask for some certifications for requirements like these.

  • Managing a sustainable fleet.

Companies can buy electric vehicles or vehicles that use les fuel or use cargo bikes when possible.

  • Eco-Friendly Packaging.

As mentioned before, adopting an eco-packaging strategy, helps companies reduce waste and their energy footprint.

  • Improving data monitoring and training.

It is important for courier companies to keep track of their environmental impacts and also train their staff and partners on how to maintain and improve sustainability practices.

  • Following laws and regulations

By following green procurement policies, companies can lead the way in setting sustainability standards in the industry.

Paperless operations

Paperless operations is one more solution for transport businesses to reduce their paper use by switching to digital processes. In the past, these companies needed paper documents for every part of the order to proof the of delivery. However, with the advent of digital technology, these companies can now implement electronic proof of delivery systems. These systems utilize electronic signatures and photo proof, eliminating the need for physical documents.This method reduces the amount of paper used by and also offers a secure of delivery documentations.

Top 20 Reasons to go paperless
Top 20 Reasons to go paperless | Quixy (https://quixy.com/blog/top-20-reasons-to-go-paperless/)

The use of digital tools extends beyond just electronic receipts. Advanced logistics software can manage orders, track deliveries in real time, and maintain digital records, all of which contribute to a significant reduction in paper use. As the logistics and delivery industry continues to evolve, embracing paperless operations offers a dual benefit of improving environmental sustainability and boosting operational efficiency.

Educate costumers

Educating costumers on eco-friendly practices appears to be a very effective strategy for a company.

  • Simplified information: Provide customers with straightforward, digestible information about eco-friendly delivery options such as consolidated or scheduled deliveries to reduce trips and carbon emissions.
  • Success stories and data: Share testimonials, success stories, and quantitative data highlighting the positive environmental impacts of choosing sustainable delivery methods.
  • Marketing and communication:  Share messages about sustainability in marketing materials and social media content to raise awareness and demonstrate the company's commitment to the environment.
  • Incentives for sustainable choices: Companies can offer incentive for customers who choose eco-friendly delivery options or use reusable options or use sustainable packages to encourage sustainable behaviours.

Teleworking

Teleworking can offer significant environmental benefits for transport companies by allowing employees to work from home. This shift reduces their daily commuting, which directly decreases greenhouse gas emissions and alleviates traffic congestion. The environmental advantages of teleworking are clear and impactful, particularly for reducing carbon footprints associated with daily commutes.

Beyond emission reductions, teleworking significantly reduces the need for large office spaces, which are typically high consumers of energy due to heating, cooling, and lighting demands. By adopting a teleworking strategy, companies can downsize their physical office space requirements, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower operational costs. This downsizing of office space is cost-effective but also environmentally beneficial, aligning with sustainable practices that many modern businesses strive to implement.

Transport companies can particularly benefit from teleworking by allowing non-delivery roles such as customer service, scheduling, and operations management to operate remotely. This flexibility can improve employee satisfaction and retention while maintaining efficiency. Additionally, teleworking can enhance a company's brand image by showcasing its commitment to sustainable practices. This can attract environmentally conscious consumers and businesses interested in forming partnerships with green-oriented companies.

Moreover, teleworking facilitates a better work-life balance, reducing stress and improving job satisfaction among employees. This can lead to increased productivity and a happier workforce. The adoption of teleworking can also position a company as a forward-thinking, environmentally responsible organization, which is increasingly important to modern consumers and potential business partners.

In conclusion, telecommuting presents a crucial opportunity for courier companies to enhance their environmental sustainability and optimize operational efficiency. By embracing teleworking, courier companies contribute to reducing environmental impacts and building a modern, flexible, and resilient business. This approach allows them to adapt to new challenges and meet evolving expectations in a rapidly changing global landscape, while also appealing to a broader base of eco-aware customers and partners. The adoption of teleworking is not just a logistical change but a strategic move towards sustainability and enhanced corporate responsibility.

Recycling and upcycling

Recycling and upcycling are essential practices that can significantly improve the environmental impact for transport companies. By implementing comprehensive recycling programs, these companies can effectively manage waste generated from their operations, including packaging materials and office waste. Setting up dedicated recycling bins at their facilities and encouraging active participation from employees and clients ensures the proper segregation and recycling of materials such as paper, plastics, and metals.

Furthermore, transport companies can enhance their environmental friendliness by utilizing recycled materials. For example, using packaging made from recycled materials can drastically reduce the environmental footprint of their courier operations. They could opt for boxes and fillers crafted from recycled substances. Additionally, they can venture into upcycling non-recyclable materials. For instance, damaged packaging materials can be creatively transformed into office supplies or decorative items, enhancing the workspace while reducing waste. This approach not only mitigates waste generation but also adds value to materials that would otherwise be discarded, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability and innovative resource management. By adopting these practices, transport companies can significantly contribute to sustainability and set a positive example in the industry.

recycling and upcycling symbols

Micro hubs

The implementation of micro-hubs in historic city centres can become a unique opportunity for transport companies to reduce their costs and their carbon footprint. By situating these micro-hubs in easily accessible areas close to their final delivery destinations, such as residential areas or office complexes, courier companies can drastically reduce the distance required for last-mile deliveries. This reduction decreases traffic congestion and vehicle emissions and enhances the efficiency of the delivery process.

Micro-hubs usually are smaller than traditional warehouses and they work well in crowded cities without standing out too much.  For customers, micro-hubs improve access and convenience, which is vital in the fast-expanding e-commerce industry. Allowing customers to track their packages and choose convenient pickup times enhances their experience and encourages eco-friendly behaviours.

Strategically placed micro-hubs can also bring new life to vacant and underutilized buildings, helping to redevelop these areas and contribute to the urban economy without new construction. This approach helps preserve the character of historic city centres while utilizing existing resources efficiently, supporting sustainable development goals.

In summary, incorporating micro-hubs into courier companies' business models offers a sustainable way forward that supports broader environmental aims. By tackling the logistical challenges of urban deliveries and leveraging the benefits of micro-hubs, courier companies can significantly boost their role in sustainable urban development while improving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. This strategy not only helps green courier services but also shapes the future of environmentally friendly logistics in urban settings.

 

Quizz: Module C - Topic 3

1 / 10

Micro-hubs don not help reduce the distance required for last-mile deliveries:

2 / 10

Teleworking reduces greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing daily commuting:

3 / 10

Paperless operations can be implemented using electronic proof of delivery systems:

4 / 10

Using smart HVAC systems can help reduce energy consumption in courier businesses:

5 / 10

Solar panels and energy-saving lights are features commonly found in green buildings:

6 / 10

What is one way recycling and upcycling can benefit transport companies?

7 / 10

Which method can transport companies use to encourage customers to adopt eco-friendly delivery options?

8 / 10

What is a significant benefit of green procurement for courier companies?

9 / 10

What type of materials are typically used in eco-friendly packaging?

10 / 10

What type of building is designed to use energy more efficiently and is beneficial for logistics centers?

Your score is

The average score is 0%

0%

 

7.3 Learning by example #3. Exchange of good practice

Module   C. Operation 
Topic   7.3 Learning by example#3. Exchange of good practice on greening facilities and non-transport operations 
Aim  

  • Based on the content of 7.1 and 7.2, provision of examples from the international practice on greening facilities and operations in the sector of urban logistics with focus on courier/postal/delivery companies.  

  • Discussion on the effectiveness and adaptability of examples  

Learning outcomes  

  • Critical analysis of current practice of greening transport and non-transport operations and facilities of courier/postal/delivery services. 

 

DHL

DHL, a leader in global logistics, has adopted a comprehensive approach to enhance its environmental sustainability across various operations. One of the key strategies includes optimizing recipient services. By establishing preferred drop-off points and deploying Packstations, DHL streamlines delivery efficiency and significantly cuts down on carbon emissions associated with repeated delivery attempts. These stations facilitate the handling of multiple parcels and returns in one go, further supported by digital delivery notifications that promote a paperless and more efficient process.

Furthermore, DHL actively engages in both carbon offsetting and insetting to manage and reduce its carbon footprint. Through carbon offsetting, the company invests in external environmental projects such as reforestation and renewable energy projects, which compensate for the emissions generated by their operations. On the other hand, carbon insetting involves initiatives within the company’s own supply chain, such as planting trees near operational sites or sourcing local produce to minimize emissions from transportation.

The company also focuses on sustainable packaging solutions by advising businesses on how to optimize their packaging practices. This includes the use of right-sized boxes and environmentally friendly materials like compostable bags and recycled cardboard, which not only reduce waste but also lower shipping costs. The eco-friendly packaging methods also offer marketing advantages by aligning with the growing consumer preference for eco-friendly products.

Collaboration plays a crucial role in DHL’s strategy to achieve carbon neutrality. The company partners with major corporations such as Volvo and Shell to develop solutions like sustainable aviation fuels, electric vehicles for last-mile delivery, and solar-powered warehouses. These collaborations are instrumental in pushing the envelope for what’s technologically feasible in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, DHL utilizes advanced supply chain analytics to improve its operational efficiency. This includes deploying inventory management software and climate impact tools that help in forecasting demand, minimizing overstocking, and analysing emissions throughout the supply chain. These tools enhance DHL’s operational decisions and support their clients in choosing the most sustainable logistics options available.

DHL's integrated sustainability initiatives showcase how courier companies can leverage innovative methods and collaborations to significantly reduce their environmental impact while improving business efficiency and customer satisfaction. This holistic approach underlines the potential for the courier and logistics industry to lead by example in the pursuit of a more sustainable future.

UPS

UPS, a leading player in the global logistics industry, has implemented a series of sustainability initiatives that align with modern environmental standards and aim to significantly reduce its ecological footprint.

Alternative Fuel Vehicles: UPS is trying to make a diverse fleet of alternative fuel vehicles, including electric, hybrid, and natural gas-powered trucks. This strategic move is part of UPS's commitment to decrease its reliance on traditional fossil fuels, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating air pollution.

Route Optimization Technology: By employing a smart route optimization software, UPS enhances the efficiency of its delivery operations. This technology allows for the planning of the most efficient delivery routes, minimizing drive times and fuel consumption, which in turn reduces the company’s environmental impact.

Carbon Offset Programs: UPS offers innovative carbon offset programs to its customers, enabling them to offset the emissions generated by their shipments. This initiative supports various environmental projects, such as reforestation efforts and the development of renewable energy, which contribute to the reduction of carbon footprints on a global scale.

Sustainable Packaging Solutions: UPS works with companies to create and use sustainable packaging solutions. This helps reduce waste from packaging and uses recyclable materials, which lessens the environmental effects of shipping.

Research and Innovation in Sustainability: UPS is dedicated to making ongoing improvements and invests in research and development to find and use advanced solutions for sustainable logistics. This involves looking into new methods like drone deliveries, electric bicycles, and creating environmentally friendly last-mile delivery hubs. These innovations help make logistics operations more efficient and reduce their environmental footprint.

Top of Form

Overall, UPS's strong commitment to sustainability shows its active involvement in eco-friendly logistics and taking responsibility for the environment. Through its diverse initiatives, UPS enhances its operational efficiency and helps its customers and the community adopt more sustainable practices. This commitment establishes UPS as a forward-thinking leader dedicated to promoting a greener future in the logistics industry.

FedEx

FedEx, a leading global delivery company, is actively working to become more eco-friendly by focusing on various sustainable practices in its operations.

FedEx has added many hybrid and electric vehicles to its delivery fleet. These vehicles produce fewer pollutants than traditional gasoline vehicles, helping to reduce the company’s environmental impact and support global climate change efforts.

The company promotes the use of recyclable materials for packaging and works with customers to use less packaging. This not only reduces waste but also teaches customers about the benefits of using sustainable materials. FedEx also, pays attention to the right size of the packaging, because larger boxes mean excessive cushioning material and more costs due to more delivery routes.

FedEx is working hard to become carbon neutral by 2040. They have committed $100 million to start the Yale Centre for Natural Carbon Capture, which will focus on finding ways to remove and store extra carbon from the air. They are also changing their delivery trucks to electric vehicles to reduce emissions. Additionally, FedEx is working on improving their aircraft fuel use through their FedEx® Fuel Sense programs and investing in alternative fuels to lower emissions from planes and vehicles. They are also making their buildings more energy-efficient and using more renewable energy. To help customers make eco-friendlier shipping choices, FedEx provides tools like FedEx® Sustainability Insights to track and reduce shipping emissions, and they encourage the use of reusable FedEx® packaging. With these steps, FedEx is not only improving how they operate but also leading in making the shipping industry more sustainable.

FedEx has implemented a centralized energy management system across over 1,500 office stores, enhancing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. This system adjusts temperatures based on occupancy, monitors HVAC performance, and detects energy-saving opportunities, effectively saving over 22 million kWh of electricity in 2019 alone. This setup allows FedEx to remotely control and monitor HVAC systems, streamlining maintenance and operational decisions for equipment repairs or replacements. This proactive maintenance reduces energy consumption and operational costs while improving the efficiency and comfort of store environments. Overall, these measures reflect FedEx’s commitment to sustainability, aligning with customer values on environmental responsibility and enhancing the efficiency of their building operations. Top of Form

FedEx is enhancing its environmental and operational efficiency with several innovative initiatives. By incorporating electric carts for urban deliveries and advanced automation, FedEx optimizes package handling and reduces emissions. Technologies like the Coros system leverage machine learning to streamline logistics, increasing delivery accuracy and efficiency. Additionally, FedEx employs AI to improve route optimization and reduce fuel consumption. Sensor-based technologies like SenseAware ID offer precise real-time tracking, improving logistical efficiency. These efforts show FedEx's commitment to sustainability and innovation in the logistics industry.

These efforts show FedEx’s commitment to improving its environmental impact and leading the way in sustainable practices in the logistics industry.

DPDgroup

DPDgroup is a major parcel delivery company in Europe which is working hard to be more environmentally friendly. They've recently reached a big goal by opening their 100,000th service point across Europe. This achievement shows their commitment to reducing carbon emissions and promoting green delivery options.

By encouraging customers to pick up their parcels at convenient locations, DPDgroup reduces the need for door-to-door deliveries, which usually involve more driving and more emissions. Currently, almost half of DPD’s deliveries go to these pickup points, showing a big shift towards more sustainable delivery methods.

DPDgroup collaborates with local businesses like Żabka in Poland and the Post Office in the UK to establish service points and lockers. This strategy makes deliveries convenient, supports local economies and reduces the environmental impact of deliveries. For example, in the Netherlands, their network includes over 1,850 points, with plans to expand to 2,500 by 2024, enhancing their eco-friendly delivery options. Regionally, pickup preferences vary, with 25% of Dutch online shoppers favouring service points, while 83% in the Baltic states prefer lockers. This adaptation to regional preferences helps DPDgroup manage logistics more efficiently, reducing unnecessary travel and lowering their carbon footprint.

Overall, expanding their service point and locker network is key to DPDgroup’s strategy for enhancing environmental sustainability. By increasing these points across Europe, they not only meet customer demands for convenience but also contribute to reducing transport emissions, making their service more sustainable.

PostNord

PostNord is committed to transform its operations to be more environmentally friendly, with a ambitious goal to stop using fossil fuels in their transportation by 2030Top of Form. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to promote sustainability within the logistics sector. The company plans to achieve this goal by significantly cutting down on air transport and increasingly incorporating renewable fuels and electric vehicles into their fleet. PostNord is also investing heavily in advanced technology and innovations. This includes enhancing the energy efficiency of their delivery processes and integrating state-of-the-art logistical solutions that minimize environmental impact. By updating their vehicle fleet to electric models and using biofuels, they aim to reduce the carbon emissions associated with their delivery networks significantly.

Moreover, PostNord's commitment extends beyond their immediate operations. They are engaging with partners and stakeholders to foster a broader shift towards green logistics practices across the industry. This includes working with suppliers and customers to develop and implement sustainable practices that align with their environmental goals.

PostNord also emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in their sustainability journey. They are proactive in communicating their progress and challenges, ensuring that their stakeholders are informed and engaged. This open dialogue supports their goal to not only improve their own operations but also to inspire and lead the industry towards a more sustainable future.

In essence, PostNord is not just focusing on reducing their environmental footprint; they are setting a new standard for what it means to operate sustainably in the logistics field. By 2030, they aim to be a leading example of how a major logistics company can operate completely fossil-free, influencing the entire supply chain from end to end to adopt more environmentally conscious practices.

 

8. Training in CGG "Measure my Green Readiness" Self-Assessment Tool

DOWNLOAD the Manual “Measure my Green Readiness”

Access

In order to use the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool, you simply need:

  • A PC/laptop with a web browser installed, e.g. Google Chrome, Edge, Mozilla Firefox etc.
  • Access to the internet

You can access the tool through this link: https://measuregreenreadinesstoolv2.bubbleapps.io/version-test

Users

The access to the tool does not require login credentials.

Users: Everyone is able to access and operate the tool, since its access is open.

Admin: DREVEN is the sole contributor and administrator of this tool.

Best Practices

For the optimum performance of the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool, the following simple best practices are recommended:

  • Users should close the tab of the tool when not in use.
  • Users are advised to keep their web browsers up to date with the latest version for better performance of the system.

  • In order to have a smoother experience, the users are advised to use a monitor or a laptop with a screen bigger than 17”.

Functions of the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool

The main purpose of this tool is to calculate the Carbon Footprint of courier companies, by using data input on Delivery Activity and Emission Categories. Therefore, we define the following main functions of the tool with their respective categories in order to receive a valid outcome:

  1. Delivery Activity: The user is required to provide data on:

  • Reference year
  • Average consignment weight processed within the reference year.
  • Average number of consignments processed within the reference year.

  1. Emissions Categories: The user is required to provide data in three main categories:

  • Road Transportation
  • Hubs and Offices
  • Supply Chain Transportation
  • Waste Management:

  1. Results:

  • The Carbon Footprint of the courier company.

User guidance

Aiming to a better understanding of the actions to the user, provided in this manual, some shapes (green arrows and circles) were used, as seen below.

 

“Measure my Green Readiness” Tool

Main page (“Home”)

The main page of the tool that the user sees when accessing the provided link is shown in Figure 1. In the main page, the user receives introductory information about the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool, and the Couriers Go Green Erasmus+ project.

The bar on the top of the page provides the navigation menu and, at this stage, are deactivated, since the user hasn’t started the tool yet. In order to initiate the tool, the user can must click “Start”. At any given time, the user can click on “Home” and be transferred back to the main page of the tool.

A Screenshot of the main page (“Home”) of the Measure my Green Readiness Tool
Figure 1: Screenshot of the main page (“Home”) of the Measure my Green Readiness Tool

 

“Delivery Activity”

Delivery Activity” sets the start of the tool and is the first step of data entry from the user. In this tab the user provides data on a yearly basis.  In more detail, as illustrated below in Figure 2, the user is asked to provide the Reference year of the data they are going to provide. Then, the user is requested to enter data regarding the average weight (kg) of consignments processed within that year and the average number of consignments processed within that year. Those two entries are then multiplied, and they represent the average total weight of consignments processed within the reference year.

A Screenshot of the “Delivery Activity” of the Measure my Green Readiness Tool
Figure 2: Screenshot of the “Delivery Activity” of the Measure my Green Readiness Tool

 

Emission categories

Moving on from the “Delivery Activity”, the user is transferred to the “Emission categories” tab, where one “Emission Category” must be selected in order to proceed with the tool (Figure 3).

A Screenshot for the selection of “Emissions Categories” feature
Figure 3: Screenshot for the selection of “Emissions Categories” feature

Ηere the user initiates the main aspect of the tool. Each time the user completes a category, he/she has the option to observe primary results, and one must complete all categories in order to receive the total Carbon Footprint of the company. The “Measure my Green Readiness” tool provides 4 different categories for the user to select from. The user can select between, “Road transportation”, “Hubs and Offices”, “Supply chain transportation”, and “Waste Management”.

 

“Road transportation” category

The first category that the user can select is the “Road transportation”. This category includes the emissions from assets that results from the fuels consumed for road transportation of consignments.

As presented in Figure 4, when selecting the “Road transportation” button under the “Emission category” tab, the user needs to provide input data about the total distance (km) covered by transportation vessels that are used by the company. The two main categories here are, a) Road transportation between hubs (long haul), and b) Road transportation last mile (short haul).

 

A Screenshot of the data needed for company owned fleet
Figure 4: Screenshot of the data needed for company owned fleet

Then the users proceed by clicking the green button “Next”. They will then have the option to select between a variety of vehicles for long and short haul as illustrated in Figure 5. The long-haul options are mainly trucks, that are divided in categories by the weight of the cargo that they can carry and the type of fuel they need to operate. An extra option for the user is to indicate the percentage of trucks that need temperature control, while carrying sensitive cargo. The user can click on “Back” in case they want to change any input entered at the previous steps.

A Screenshot presenting the vehicle selection for between hubs transportation
Figure 5: Screenshot presenting the vehicle selection for between hubs transportation

By clicking on “Next”, the selections for short haul will appear (Figure 6) and the user can now choose between different types of motorcycles and vans, that are again divided by the weight of the cargo that they can carry and the type of fuel they need to operate.

A Screenshot presenting the vehicle selection for last mile transportation
Figure 6: Screenshot presenting the vehicle selection for last mile transportation

After the completion of this stage, and by clicking “Next”, the data input to calculate the carbon footprint considering the road transportation is completed, and the user has the option to proceed to the “Hubs and Offices” category or jump to the “Results” as shown in Figure 7.

A Screenshot presenting the buttons for” Go to results” or to “Continue to hubs and offices”
Figure 7: Screenshot presenting the buttons for” Go to results” or to “Continue to hubs and offices”

 

“Hubs and offices” category

The second category that the user can select is the “Hubs and offices”. This category includes emissions resulting from the generation and distribution of electricity and heat that the offices and hubs are using, and the user will also have the option to provide data regarding packaging and other office materials.

First, the user is asked to provide electricity and heating details regarding the Hubs that the company rents/uses/operates. The user needs to choose the location of the Hub (EU-27 countries), the number of Hubs that the company is using and the annual electricity consumption of those Hubs. In case the company operates Hubs in multiple countries, the users can proceed and enter data for those Hubs too, given them the opportunity to measure the consumption from operations located in different countries. Lastly the user has the option to provide data for the annual energy consumption for heat, but for all Hubs combined.

After that, the Hubs tab is completed and by clicking on “Next”, the user is transferred to the “Offices” tab.

A Screenshot presenting the Hubs operated by the company
Figure 8: Screenshot presenting the Hubs operated by the company

The Offices tab is quite similar with the previous step (Hubs), as the user is again asked to provide the number of Offices that the company rents/uses/operates. In case the company operates Offices in multiple countries, the user can proceed and enter data for those Offices as well. Lastly the user has the option to provide data for the annual energy consumption for heat, but for all the Offices combined.

A Screenshot presenting the Offices operated by the company
Figure 9: Screenshot presenting the Offices operated by the company

After the completion of the Offices data entry, the last section of the “Hubs and Offices” category is the “Consumables”, and the user needs to provide input regarding packaging materials and Office paper as illustrated below.

A Screenshot presenting the Offices operated by the company
Figure 10: Screenshot presenting the Offices operated by the company

As it is illustrated above, first the user has to provide data about office supplies that are used on a daily basis in a courier company. There is a selection between a variety of packaging materials, and more specifically, kraft paper (not packaging), plastic film, carton pack (packaging), and office papers in general. The user has the option to add only the categories that apply to his/her company.

When this step is completed, the “Hubs and Offices” category is completed and the user will have the option to proceed to the Final results, or continue to the third category, which is the “Supply Chain transportation”.

 

“Supply Chain transportation” category

The third category of “Measure my Green Readiness” tool is the “Supply Chain transportation” category, which includes emissions originate from the company's supply chain, notably including those emissions necessary to transport goods from suppliers to the reporting company, and onward to the final customer.

The first aspect of the “Supply Chain transportation” category is the total distance covered related to the supply chain transportation of goods for all the means that were used. In other words, this input here represents the complete transportation data for air, sea, waterways, and rail.

After the completion of this step, the user is asked to provide details regarding the amount that each mean of transportation (air, sea, waterways, rail) was used. The users will receive a notification that the total percentage has to be 100% in order to proceed to the next step (Figure 11).

A Screenshot representing the total annual distance covered for supply chain emissions
Figure 11: Screenshot representing the total annual distance covered for supply chain emissions

When that entry is completed, the users can now click on “Next” and proceed to the air transportation category, where they are asked to provide the percentage of aircrafts used. The final percentage should be again 100%, as this number represents the total use of air transportation. If the number of aircrafts is not 100%, the user won’t have the ability to proceed, as the “Next” button would be deactivated.

A Screenshot representing the Air transportation selection
Figure 12: Screenshot representing the Air transportation selection

After the completion of Air transportation, the user clicks on “Next”, and the Sea transportation category follows. As a lot of cargo is being transferred globally, the sea transportation category includes many types of vessels that are also divided into subcategories for a more precise approach.

In the figures below you can see all the available categories in Sea transportation. The users need to fill the categories that apply to them and move on to the next one. In case a category isn’t needed for the company’s calculations, they can skip that category and move forward.

The first category is the Bulk carrier for non-container vessels. The user needs to select the categories that apply to the company operations and also fill the percentage of that category, the same way as we explained before on the example above.

A Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Bulk carrier category
Figure 13: Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Bulk carrier category

When the user completes/skips the Bulk carrier category, they then click on “Next”, and the General cargo category appears. Same as before the user has to provide the type of vessels used and the amount of usage.

A Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, General Cargo category
Figure 14: Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, General Cargo category

When the user completes/skips the General Cargo category, they then click on “Next”, and the Ferry Ro-Pax category appears. Same as before the user has to provide the type of vessels used and the amount of usage.

A Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Ferry Ro-Pax category
Figure 15: Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Ferry Ro-Pax category

When the user completes/skips the Ferry Ro-Pax category, they then click on “Next”, and the Refrigerated bulk category appears. Same as before the user has to provide the type of vessels used and the amount of usage.

A Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Refrigerated bulk category
Figure 16: Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Refrigerated bulk category

The final entry of sea transportation vessels is the Ro-Pax category. As explained before, the has to provide the type of vessels used and the amount of usage.

A Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Ro-Ro category
Figure 17: Screenshot of the Non-Container Vessels, Ro-Ro category

After clicking on “Next”, the final sea transportation category will appear.

A Screenshot of the Container Vessels category
Figure 18: Screenshot of the Container Vessels category

After the user completes the final category of Sea transportation the next available Supply chain transportation category is the Waterways transportation. Here the user needs to consider the amount of transportation that’s being held through water, streams, rivers. In case the user doesn’t need to fill this, they can move forward by clicking on “Next”.

A Screenshot of the Waterway transportation category
Figure 19: Screenshot of the Waterway transportation category

The final category of “Supply Chain transportation” category is the Rail transportation. Same as before, the user needs to select the types of vessels and the amount of their usage or, they can skip that part by clicking on “Next” and proceed.

A Screenshot of the Rail transportation category
Figure 20: Screenshot of the Rail transportation category

After the completion of Rail transportation, the user has the option to visit the temporary results or proceed to the final category of the tool.

 

“Waste Management” category

The final category of the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool is the “Waste management”, as seen on Figure 21. The user should provide details regarding the office supplies and their end-of-life procedure. The tool will calculate the emissions based on the country selections the user has already filled in the Offices category (“Hubs and Offices” category), stating the countries that company offices operate.

In this category, the user is asked to provide 2 percentages regarding the waste management of packaging material and office paper. In particular, the user needs to provide a percentage regarding the office supplies that become waste within the company premises, and another percentage representing the separate collection of that waste for recycling, as you can see below.

A Screenshot of Waste management category
Figure 21: Screenshot of Waste management category

After the completion of Waste management, the user completes all the aspects of the “Measure my Green Readiness” tool and the final step would be to review the Carbon Footprint of the company.

 

Results

By clicking “Results” the total Carbon Footprint of the courier or transportation company is calculated and graphically presented. The carbon footprint is expressed in tones of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). The user is able to go back and forth to his/her input by selecting the relevant navigation items from the navigation menu, providing more detailed data in order to receive accurate results. The results are presented in the form of graphs (bar charts) in which the user can see the exact amount of CO2e emissions.

In Figures below, one can see the final presentation of the Carbon Footprint, based on user’s selection.

A Screenshot of final results
Figure 22: Screenshot of final results

While reviewing the final results, the user has the option to export them for his/her own us.

 

DOWNLOAD the Manual “Measure my Green Readiness”

 

9.1 Individual project: Assignment workshop

 

 

9.2 Individual project: Presentation workshop

 

 

 

 

 

Further Reading, References, Key Documents

 

Module A - European Union’s policy and legislative framework on green city logistics

Sustainable Urban Logistics Planning, 2019

The New EU Urban Mobility Framework, 2021

Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy, 2020

Decarbonising Transport in Europe, 2021

SULP Guidelines, 2015

SUMP Guidelines, 2019 (second edition)

A Clean Planet for all, 2018

A clean Planet for all, 2018 (Analysis)

The European Green Deal, 2019

The European Green Deal, 2019 (Annex)

 

Module A - Opportunities for funding and supporting the green transition of urban freight transportation

CGG_course presentation handout

 

Module A - Planning for sustainable cities with green urban logistics

SUMP 2019

SULP 2019

ENCLOSE SULP Methodology

Guidelines for developing and implementing a SUMP 2014

 

Module B - New Mobility Services: Solutions and business models for urban transportation

ERTRAC New Mobility Roadmap

ULaaDS Future of On Demand Urban Logistics

 

Module B - Connected and automated mobility and future city logistics

ERTRAC_Cooperative, Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap

NCHRP_Risks from new technologies in transport

 

Module B - Learning by example#2. Exchange of good practice

DHL Self Driving Vehicles

Connected and Automated Transport

 

Module C - Big data and information sharing applications for urban logistics

Big Data and Transport

Information-Systems-for-Interconnected-Logistics-Final-Roadmap

Application of Big Data in Logistics

Smart_City_and_Urban_Logistics

 

Module D - Training in CGG "Measure my Green Readiness" Self-Assessment Tool

Manual – “Measure my Green Readiness” tool