Sustainability of Urban Freight Transport: Retail Distribution and Local Regulation in Cities



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 freight 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 freight transport sustainability initiatives. The number of initiatives that is successfully implemented in practice turns out to be quite low. In the review and the following analysis, we try to find the barriers for successful implementation of the initiatives in practice. In the second 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 burden and distribution costs. Retail chains are affected differently by time-window pressure and vehicle restrictions due to differences in their logistical concept. Based on an experiment we examine the effects of retailers’ logistical decisions in combination with local sustainability policies. Next, we examine the degree to which retailers are able to 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 sensitivity towards time-window regulations. 
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Contact information: 
Olga Novikova