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Intermodal transport and logistics’ role in making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Workshop in the framework of UNECE Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (WP.24)

28 October 2020

 

Background

Cities are hubs for local, and often regional and national development. The better cities provide access to and connect various markets such as labour, investment, education, commerce, recreation and health care, the better they can proposer and support the development. In turn, the market accessibility and connectivity are influenced by planning of city spaces (land-use) and transport solutions. The latter encompass solutions for passenger and freight transport.

As freight transport in urban areas delivers the numerous goods to where they are purchased, further processed or consumed, it plays an essential role for the development. On the other hand, freight transport is also responsible for negative impacts on citizens’ health and well-being due to air and noise emissions it generates and due to road safety risk it creates.

Urban freight transport requires thus solutions thanks to which goods can be delivered to their destinations effectively and economically while the negative externalities are minimized. This requires combined and mixed measures and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Partial solutions tend to deliver inferior results in medium to longer terms. E.g., experience shows that specific operational bans on freight transport such as restrictions in terms of size, weight, route, emissions, timeframes, or loading and delivery bans, which seemed to deliver positive results in terms of limitation of externalities in a short term, proved to result in more freight vehicle travel in a medium to longer term and, in turn, led to increasing air pollution and noise emissions and made traffic more dangerous. This being said, specific operational bans can prove effective if combined with other measures.

Measure mixes should thus incorporate measures which can be classified as:

  • Policy-based measures e.g.: spatial planning solutions, incentive and restriction measures,
  • Logistics-based measures e.g.: collaborative freight management (freight villages), intermodal reloading points (heavy duty vehicle to vehicle, vehicle to cargo bicycle),
  • Technology-based measures e.g.: alternative fuel vehicles, power transmission systems, ITS/IT solution.

As part of these measure mixes, combined or intermodal transport measures can play an important role in the attempt to make freight transport in city areas sustainable, e.g. the main leg on rail can be combined with a short initial or final leg on road by using for example E-lorries.

The design and implementation of combined and mixed measures to make them effective for optimizing urban freight transport operations and minimising their externalities, thus making urban freight transport sustainable, requires collaboration of relevant stakeholders. Hauliers, retailers, city and state authorities, urban planners, industry associations and academia are those stakeholders who should collaborate.

Sharing of experience in creating stakeholder collaboration, presentation on the designed measure mixes, and lessons learned from their implementation can be of great value and help everybody, through learning from others, to look for measures that can render better results.

It is for this purpose that UNECE and the Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics will hold a workshop to exchange and share good practices for organisation of sustainable freight transport in cities.

 

Call for abstracts 

In preparation to the workshop, UNECE invites interested stakeholders to send abstracts on case studies discussing collaboration for sustainable freight urban transport and/or design and implementation of measure mixes and lessons learned. The measure mixes can refer to but do not need to be limited to policy-based, logistics-based or technology-based measures. Priority should be given to case studies with emphasis on practical examples in intermodal or combined transport.

Abstracts should be sent through our contact form by 3 July 2020. Selected case studies will be given slots for oral presentation and discussion with the audience at the workshop. All case studies will be made available.

Download here the template for case studies

For further information, please contact us.