The impact of logistics in Cities 2022

The objective of the present research is to analyze and evaluate the impact of last-mile logistics in cities, and to propose specific strategies, actions, and planning policies to achieve a positive impact in the urban environment while maintaining the efficiency and functionality of the logistics network. Thus, this report is structured sequentially from analysis and evaluation to proposals and recommendations.

Early in the morning, before dawn, a group of vans is waiting in a warehouse in the outskirts of Madrid. They are waiting to load their trunks with the packages for delivery that arrived at the warehouse the night before. 

Meanwhile, inside somebody is distributing the according to delivery areas for the drivers. Once the vans are filled with the goods to deliver, the race starts. The drivers proceed to the urban areas to deliver the parcels in the shortest possible time. They create an optimized circuit based on their own experience, or at best, with the help of a digital tool. In the meantime, the end clients are waiting at home tracking the orders on their smartphones. The van double-parks at the doorway of the building and the driver runs to ring the bell. Just for a second, the driver may meet the client. The driver hands over the parcel and asks for a signature. Then, he goes back to the doubleparked van, hoping not to have received a parking ticket.

Every day, this picture is repeated many times in many cities throughout the world. It represents the normal process and flow of goods entering the city. It is urban logistics or the last mile of logistics. If we return to the first paragraph of this summary, we can identify a wide range of factors and stakeholders involved in the logistics flow and in turn, impacting the urban environment.