New Transport Chains Through ICT and Their Impacts on Environment and Livability

New Transport Chains Through ICT and Their Impacts on Environment and Livability


H Flämig, Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, DE



In the context of economic and social transformations, Internet-based technologies and concepts such as e-commerce or e-logistics are shaping the supply of goods in terms of quantitative, temporal and spatial organization. Changes in distribution operations (consolidation, home delivery service, cross docking, etc.), locational choice and logistical infrastructure (regional e-logistics centers, pick up-points, etc.) are likely to influence the competitiveness of companies and the prosperity of cities and regions. The new information technologies are practiced to optimize information flows and material flows, not only to improve the company's competitiveness by 'lean logistics' but also to include home-delivery into integrated logistic systems will be a second option for less customer's traffic. Freight transport is expected to increase in delivery volume, frequency and distances over the next years. This raises many problems. Cities dependent on functioning business traffic as well as on a better quality of life and a healthy environment. Thus freight traffic is also supporting the disintegration of the city, at least indirectly, because the customers are preferring the not-integrated and the 'not-based' locations for their shopping.

Empirical findings reveal an interrelation between the type of commodity and the spatial structure, resulting from the special consumption function, the spatio-temporal organization of the logistic system and its impact on traffic generation and the environment. Regarding the growing debate on the impact of supply chain re-organization on the efficiency and effectiveness of the whole distribution system, the significance of time and space is often neglected. Yet, different spatial structures require different delivery chains. This interrelation has been modeled at the example of consumer goods and will be presented in the session.

The theoretical framework of this traffic-generation-and-environment-model is developed on the basis of a new understanding of the role and the design of the elements of logistical systems (e.g. the redefinition of vessels, facilities and 'new' modes for freight transport). The model simulates the impact on the traffic system and the contribution to air pollution, depending on a change of type, number and location of distribution nodes (shops, distribution centers, pick up-points, etc.) as well as of type and number of vehicles. Furthermore, the simulation allows to predict the degree of supply of a given population distribution in various types of regions.

The aim of the presentation is to contribute to a better understanding of the interrelation between new logistics concepts and the consequence for the (urban) transportation system. It should be used for a better estimate future development of traffic and to find useful answers and ideas for optimizing and reducing the impacts of a future (urban) freight logistics system for the background of sustainable transport.


Association for European Transport