Futures scenarios for last-mile logistics in mid-size European cities: ULaaDS D2.4: Futures scenarios based on a Disaggregative Policy Delphi

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The number of last-mile deliveries is expected to grow by 78% worldwide by 2030 (World Economic Forum, 2020). This growth poses serious challenges to the last-mile sector with regard to logistics operations within dense urban areas, improving sustainability of the sector, and establishing cooperation between logistics stakeholders. In addressing these challenges scenarios are a powerful tool to inform future pathways as they aid last mile policy makers and other logistics stakeholders to rehearse the future.
This study aims to identify plausible future states in last-mile logistics for mid-size European cities. It presents six scenarios for last-mile logistics in the year 2035 and identifies key themes policy makers should consider in addressing the uncertain future of last-mile logistics.
The scenarios are developed using a Disaggregative Policy Delphi method. This method enables the identification of scenarios through a cluster analysis of quantitative and qualitative assessments of possible future developments in last mile city logistics by 26 participants in the expert panel. These expert are involved in last-mile logistics in the European cities Bremen, Groningen and Mechelen.
Six scenarios have been identified:
• Old Wild West - “No active government involvement and lack of incentives for innovation and cooperation.”
• New Wild West - “Last-mile logistics is shaken up, with high levels of innovation but low regard for sustainability.”
• New Cool Collective - “Shared beliefs and a shared course of action lead to sustainable last-mile logistics.”
• Revolution By Design - “Sustainability in last-mile logistics is reached at the hand of local authorities.”
• Thriving, Individually - “A mix of restrictive and facilitative policies spur technological innovation but result in limited cooperation between stakeholders.”
• Good Intentions Abound - “High levels of government initiative amidst low stakeholder cooperation and low market innovation.”

Comparing the scenarios results in three main overarching conclusions:
1) Logistics remains an integral part of inner cities. Despite changes in where and how logistics are operated, last-mile logistics processes themselves will remain “a fact of city life”, omnipresent and closely interwoven with the urban.
2) Local governments take a more active role in setting direction for last mile logistics development. Their role is considered essential in foster cooperation and sustainability with help of legal standards, access restrictions, facilitation of experiments and partnerships with private initiatives. Logistics operations are still mostly up to the market.
3) A transition towards more sustainable city logistics is not a given. Substantial barriers are identified. Enabling pathways to sustainable last mile logistics requires a strong vision and policy implementation by local governments, societal pressure on reducing environmental impact and improving livability in order to foster cooperation between stakeholders, and the introduction of new technology and business models that embrace sustainability as their main principle.
Originele taal-2English
UitgeverijULaaDS
Aantal pagina's42
StatusPublished - 24-feb-2022

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