Sustainability of Urban Freight Transport: Retail Distribution and Local Regulations in Cities Defended on Thursday, 20 March 2008

Although our urbanized civilization requires freight transport in order to sustain it, urban freight transport is especially recognized for its unsustainable impacts. To reduce the unsustainable impacts of urban freight transport, many local governments develop policies that focus sometimes more on banning or restricting urban transport than on making it more sustainable. In the first part of this thesis we develop a framework to structure the urban freight transport field and to review urban fraight transport sustainability initiatives. The number of initiatives that is succesfully implemented in practice turns out te be quite low. In the review and the following analysis, we try to find the barriers for succesful implementation of the initiatives in practice. In the seond part we examine the impacts of the most commonly used local sustainability policies. Six time-window scenarios and their impacts on the economical, environmental and social sustainability are examined based on a multiple case study. Time-window regulations increase both the environmental and distribution costs. Retail chains are affected differently by time-window pressure and vehicle restrictions due to differences in their logical concept. based on an experiment we examine the effects of retailers' logical decisions in combination with local sustainability policies. Next, we examine the degree to which retailers are able te deal with problems caused by time-windows. Combining the primary and secondary distribution, i.e. factory gate pricing, results in more sustainable distribution operations for the retailer and in less sensivity towards time-window regulations.


retail distribution, city logistics, sustainability, governmental regulation, transport policy, urban goods movements, distribution strategy, Bedrijfskunde / Bedrijfseconomie

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