We all know that urban space is limited and continually diminishes. In addition, the urban traffic situation is tight and air quality needs to be improved in many cities across Europe. In 2020 we could also observe that e-commerce together with the parcel sector is still growing decisively, partly pushed by the pandemic situation. Shared micro depots provide a collaborative environment that supports cities and businesses in taking a step forward toward achieving eco-efficient and city-friendly urban logistics.
In this one-year project, eight project partners from Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Israel –representing cities,business and research –further examined and discussed this concept of a shared micro depot for urban pickup and delivery. We had two main goals in this project: First, to implement two testbeds in the partner cities, i.e. one in Helmond focussing mainly on the stakeholder involvement and the other in Helsinki that opened its services in June this year.The other objective was to elaborate and provide support to cities during the implementation process that covers an implementation roadmap describing the various steps needed and lessons learned so far, an assessment framework to analyse the impact of a shared micro depot with view to environmental, social and economic aspects. We also have adjusted a location planning tool for the needs of micro depots and applied it in Munich. We have outlined business models for shared micro depots focussing on the last mile pickup and delivery as well as possible auxiliary services to be combined with this new infrastructure. Another key topic we worked on is the design of a shared micro depot meeting the operational requirements of the users (LSPs and consignees) as well as the depot fits in seamlessly with the surrounding and the city. Finally, we have elaborated an implementation toolbox for shared micro depots offering selected modules for implementation support.