Study Urban Logistics: New concepts for more flexibility and sustainability

The rapid growth of e-commerce and the associated increase in shipments is leading to increasing traffic and environmental pollution in cities. The new trend study on the topic of "Urban Logistics" by Miebach Consulting in cooperation with the global real estate advisor JLL and the Research Lab Urban Transport (ReLUT) of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences shows that companies are rethinking their delivery concepts to cities and want to break new ground.

Urban logistics concepts are in the spotlight

The companies participating in the study want to use new concepts for urban logistics in the future. In the view of the respondents, the main reasons for redesigning urban logistics are customer-oriented aspects such as service improvement, rising customer demands and the increase in flexibility and use of synergy effects necessary for this, as well as the anticipated shortage of delivery capacity. In addition, the need for flexible delivery concepts for pop-up stores is seen.

The aspect of sustainability, which is constantly gaining in importance, also plays a decisive role for the companies in this context. Air and noise pollution caused by delivery traffic are also reasons for new urban concepts.

Urban consolidation centers and micro hubs in demand

A large proportion (approx. 70%) of the companies participating in the survey can imagine using urban logistics concepts such as urban consolidation centers (UCC) and micro hubs in particular in the near future. In addition to these, other concepts such as pick-up stations are seen as a future trend.

From the respondents‘ point of view, UCCs are primarily considered for the storage of products required at short notice and fast-moving items, as well as for improved transshipment options.

This makes them particularly suitable for reducing traffic congestion in cities due to delivery traffic and reducing the carbon footprint by reducing the distance freight travels through route optimization and the use of e-mobility and white label delivery.

A micro hub is particularly being considered for improved transhipment capability.

Different approaches to solutions for the real estate market

The requirements for logistics real estate in urban areas are multifaceted and often differ from those for conventional logistics real estate. Due to the scarce availability of free space in urban areas, market participants have to open up to new concepts. Here, not only the conversion of existing space offers a good opportunity, but also the development of new real estate concepts.

From a real estate perspective, multimodal logistics platforms and last mile fulfillment centers in particular are considered to be of high or very high importance. Due to the great competition from other types of use such as residential, office, and retail, mixed-use projects in existing and new buildings are also seen as an important solution.

Challenges of urban logistics strategies

Despite the increasing shipment volumes and urban customers as well as some innovative techniques and concepts, the profitability for urban logistics concepts is not always given. The challenges of new urban concepts are mainly in the areas of legal framework, profitability, cooperation between partners and infrastructure & resources.

"To overcome these challenges, the cooperation between the actors should be strengthened and cooperations or partnerships should be formed. A legal assurance and suitable framework conditions set the framework for the implementation. In addition, financial incentives, a cost promotion as well as financing possibilities could represent further success factors” – according to study leader Professor Dr. Bernd Mueller Dauppert, Miebach Consulting GmbH.

The complete results report can be requested from Ralf Hoffmann by e-mail (

Firmenkontakt und Herausgeber der Meldung:

Miebach Consulting GmbH
Untermainanlage 6
60329 Frankfurt am Main
Telefon: +49 (69) 273992-0
Telefax: +49 (69) 273992-20

Wiebke Tillmanns
Managerin PR & Marketing
Telefon: +49 (69) 273992-36
Fax: +49 (69) 273992-20
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