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Systems and Advanced Solutions for eLogistics in the Sustainable City

Systems and Advanced Solutions for eLogistics in the Sustainable City.
Edited by G. Ambrosino (1), M. Boero (2), J. D. Nelson (3) and M. Romanazzo (4). Published by ENEA (ISBN: 88-8286-137-6).

  (1) GA Consultancy.
  (2) Softeco Sismat SpA.
  (3) Newcastle University.
  (4) ENEA.


This book analyses key findings from recent research relating to the concept of e-logistics and its contribution to the goal of sustainable freight distribution drawing principally on recent experience gained from European-funded research. The central thesis is that a clear understanding of the developments in e-logistics – essentially the supporting operational processes to fulfil the distribution of goods in urban areas by advanced ICT tools - is necessary in order to appreciate the applicability of these concepts in the urban context.

An appreciation of the requirements and needs of users is an essential prerequisite to a greater understanding of urban freight management. All “users” from local authorities to transport service providers and private actors like consumers, must be regarded as an important part of the overall organisation of freight management. Examples of solutions adopted for the regulation and monitoring of goods distribution in sensitive areas and alternative forms of goods delivery for private customers are examined.

The concept of a city logistics Agency based on e-business services is developed as a key contribution of this book and complements work on flexible transport services for passengers (*). An IT platform for the support of the logistics Agency as a virtual organisation ensuring interoperation and co-ordination of different service providers in a multi-organisation context is proposed based on the experience of the EC-funded eDRUL project. The software techniques required to support the implementation of a platform like eDRUL are explored in detail and relevant communication and integration technologies are discussed. Broader issues of software techniques required for modelling the design and evaluation of city logistics projects are also considered.

There is a strong focus on the practical experience of urban logistics schemes with an introduction to evaluation methodologies. The evaluation of a wide variety of experiences with sustainable freight distribution in urban areas from across Europe is documented in detail from sites in Italy, Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal and the Czech Republic drawing from the results of high-profile EC-funded projects like eDRUL and MEROPE as well as many nationally funded projects.

The capture of European experience of various aspects of freight distribution continues in the chapters which follow. Lessons learned from the BESTUFS project which has identified and disseminated best practice with respect to urban freight transport are reviewed. Institutional, regulatory and political aspects of e-logistics applications are discussed with a specific proposal for the creation of a Management Authority to support the development of e-logistics services.

The strategic experience of a number of European-level research and demonstration projects is captured, including: the MOSCA project which has developed a decision-support system for integrated door-to-door delivery; the 14 cities of the MEROPE project (which have investigated and developed evaluation models and telematics instruments to manage and control goods distribution in urban areas); and CITY PORTS whose network of 19 cities has undertaken a comprehensive analysis of urban freight effects for different cities and situations in Europe.

The final main theme highlights relevant aspects of recent developments in flexible transport services for the movement of passengers drawing on the experience of AGATA which is demonstrating a multi-services Agency for the integration and co-ordination of mobility and access to transport services; and CONNECT, an expert network established to promote the concept of flexible transport services for passengers and small goods. The book concludes with a contribution to the debate surrounding the emerging business case for e-logistics services. Drawing on the experience of the eDRUL project the complex issues associated with balancing alternative technical approaches, socio-economic policy and the commercial business case are identified.

(*) Ambrosino, G, Nelson, J D and Romanazzo, M (Eds) (2004) Demand Responsive Transport Services: Towards the Flexible Mobility Agency. Rome: ENEA.

For further information please contact: Professor John Nelson, e-mail:

Created by  mmasnata  on  15/11/2006

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