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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article18 May 20211 min read

The on-demand economy and its impact on urban logistics

Without a doubt, urban and peri-urban areas are experiencing a steadily growing demand for new, sustainable and connected logistics solutions to integrate the requirements of the on-demand economy, whilst ensuring healthy cities for their inhabitants.

The ULaaDS project brings together established logistics stakeholders and newcomers to discuss rising challenges with local authorities. Together, they jointly assess and co-create novel solutions for a sustainable future: vehicle and infrastructure capacity sharing for people and freight, implementation of consolidation centres and micro hubs, the use of cargo bikes, and even containerised micro-depots.

In this new ULaaDS insight, Nacho Sarrió and Lorena Axinte (Bax & Company), and Mari Carmen Jiménez (Miebach Consulting) explore the main benefits and challenges of the on-demand economy in relation to urban logistics.

“Studies show that, effectively, the growth experienced by the on-demand economy is mainly due to the consumer's growing appetite for greater convenience, speed and simplicity...

However, there are also negative impacts associated: an increase in the number and dispersion of delivery points, which combined with a tendency towards smaller shipment sizes results in a growth of the number of freight trips (1.35B deliveries in the UK by online orders in 2018, 28.8% increase from 2013 – Barclays), is ultimately leading to traffic congestion and CO2 emissions in urban centres."

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Publication date
18 May 2021
  • Urban freight/city logistics
  • Europe-wide