- a New Type of Urban Consolidation Centre - a New Type of Urban Consolidation Centre


T van Rooijen, H Quak, TNO Mobility and Logistics, NL


In this paper we discuss the results of a pilot study from the Dutch city Nijmegen, in which a new urban consolidation centre,, facilitates deliveries to and pick-ups from the city centre.


Stores have to receive their goods in time and in the right amounts. Supplying these stores, however, decreases the quality of life due to air pollution, congestion and noise hindrance. Urban consolidation centres can help to reduce these negative impacts within cities.
In this paper we discuss the results of a pilot study from the Dutch city Nijmegen, in which a new urban consolidation centre,, facilitates deliveries to and pick-ups from the city centre. aims at doing this for independent stores, instead of facilitating the transport for stores of retail chains, what has been tried by previous urban consolidation centres.

Consolidation centres seem to be most feasible, if feasible at all, if they aim at bundling LTL (less-than-truckload) deliveries from several shippers for one address (Quak, 2008). Large deliveries are not suitable for urban consolidation centres (UCC) (Browne et al. 2005). A large share of the volume transported into the cities is for stores that belong to retail chains, which efficiently distribute goods to their stores. They are usually not willing to cooperate in UCC initiatives because of cost-increases due to extra handling.

Therefore, (BS) aims at independent stores only. The store-owner is the customer of BS. This store-owner orders the shippers to deliver its goods to BS. BS receives the goods, bundles deliveries from several suppliers per store and delivers all goods in one drop at the time the store-owner asks. The idea is that the store will pay less for its transport services to the shipper. The money saved could be used to pay BS for its services. The first year BS is partly subsidized by local authorities. After nine months over 70 stores are customer of BS, and this number is increasing. BS also offers other services, such as storage and value added logistics. BS has a location outside the city centre where 18 hours a day goods can be received and picked up. BS uses clean vehicles to reduce the emissions.

This contribution actually has three main subjects:
? we evaluate the effects of on the city of Nijmegen;
? we examine the impact if more Dutch cities to start up a similar project;
? we examine which business model is most suitable for a financially sustainable business administration.

BS provided the data from the pilot study. We also collected data about stores that join Binnenstadservice (shipments before and after using BS). General data about the inner city of Nijmegen was provided by the municipality. These data provide input for two different TNO models: Response? and Urban Strategy (US).
US estimates the sustainability impacts of the changes in distribution pattern due to the use of BS in Nijmegen. These impacts include local environment, such as air quality, noise, accessibility and safety. We calculate logistical consequences of several distribution alternatives with Response?. The outcomes of Response? are imported in US to visualize the environmental effects of changes in the logistical activities. Response? itself will also be used to calculate the national impact. The outcomes of both models will be used to perform a cost-benefit analysis.

The first results of this study are expected to be available in the beginning of 2009. In the final paper we present results on all three earlier mentioned subjects:
1) Impacts of Binnenstadservice (the actual pilot study) on people (noise, air quality, safety and hindrance), profit (of cooperating stores, Binnenstadservice, and carriers) and planet (CO2 emissions). We calculate these effects based on actual empirical data.
2) Possibilities for other cities in the Netherlands to start a Binnenstadservice and the effects on distance travelled and CO2 emissions.
3) We evaluate several business cases and make a cost-benefit analysis of these business cases. Possibilities are that besides the stores also shippers or the society (municipality) pay for the benefits that are obtained with the BS-concept. Possibilities for revenue management will be evaluated.

Eventually, we provide answers to the following questions:
? Which services can Binnenstadservice offer to which customers?
? What are the expected investments, incomes (in terms of direct profits and indirect due to better load factors and less trips) and expenditures and what is the pay-back time?
? Which (urban) characteristics are important when up scaling the concept?
? Which organisation of distribution is optimal (at which phase)?
? Which additional measures and/or policies are necessary to make the concept work?
? What is impact on people, planet and profit of the presented measures?

Browne, M., M. Sweet, A. Woodburn and J. Allen (2005) Urban freight consolidation centres. Transport Studies Group, University of Westminster, London.
Quak, H.J. (2008). Sustainability of Urban Freight Transport ? Retail Distribution and Local Regulations in Cities. PhD thesis. ERIM, Rotterdam.


Association for European Transport