City Logistics in Italy: Success Factors and Environmental Performance

City Logistics in Italy: Success Factors and Environmental Performance


C Vaghi, CERTeT Bocconi University, IT


The relation between the output of 10 city logistics experiences in Italy and their success factors is investigated. Cityporto Padova experience,monitored in CO2 Neutralp EU project,is analysed in its environmental and logistic performance.


The city logistics experience has boomed in Italy in recent years, due to the deployment of specific funding programmes by the National Government, Regions and other public bodies. Ten experiments - called ?city logistics systems? in the present work - are active in Italy, with different degrees of success among the public and different paths for acceptance by stakeholders such as shopkeepers, retailers, third party transport operators, etc.
The result is a large number of city logistics projects to which does not correspond a definition of common success drivers defined on the basis of from peculiar characteristics of operational and business models. Thus a ?national city logistics model? has never been accepted or imposed by law, despite the call for common rules on the access to the city centre, loading/unloading time windows, and use of reserved lanes by freight operators.
Italian cities have benefited from being ?second movers? versus less recent experiences started in various European countries in the Nineties, i.e. they have learnt from positive and negative lessons of those experiences, being at least more careful in starting city logistics where any possible failure factor was present. The result is that one interrupted case only is reported in Italy, and that more practices are active than in Germany (as the ?European pilot country? in city logistics).
In the present work, the main city logistics systems active in Italy will be described, with the aim to gather the common ?success? factors, i.e. the factors which are mainly contributing to reach the city logistics? main goals, which are the decreasing of air pollution and congestion in the urban environment.
Some peculiar characteristics of city logistics systems active in Italy can be defined, which correlations with appropriate performance indicators can be derived from, in order to demonstrate the existence of common success factors (both financial and regulatory) of the experimentation.
Although those factors have been described ex-post by each city logistics system promoter, an attempt to apply an econometric approach with the aim of measuring on a quantitative basis the importance of a selected number of success factors has never been made. Such an analysis is nowadays possible, due to the large amount of data available on the 10 active city logistics systems.
The final purpose of the present paper is to investigate the kind of relationship between the ?success? of a city logistics system, and the main factors which contributed to it, in order to derive general conclusions on the replicability of a general model.
Furthermore, the paper will analyse in deep the results of the appraisal of environmental performance of the ?best practice? city logistics case in Italy (Cityporto at Padova), and its contribution to the CO2 reduction. The Cost-Benefit Analysis made after five operating years of the experiment on a city logistics case showed that environmental benefits generated are valued largely above the public grants employed for the start-up.
Cityporto Padova is currently monitored as a pilot action in the framework of CO2NEUTRALP Project (CIP Programme Alpine Space), and the aim is to improve the environmental performance of the city logistics system, by replacing LEV with ZEV vehicles in the distribution of goods performed by the service.


Association for European Transport