As part of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT)-European Commission (EC) urban logistics innovation twinning programme, the EC and USDOT are coordinating to exchange information on areas of urban freight research and innovation that are of mutual interest and benefit. The programme was initiated in 2015 and will continue for approximately three years.
Peer exchanges are a core activity of the programme. These exchanges seek to convene stakeholders involved in urban freight R&D activities in both Europe and the United States.
In this context, a US delegation of four practitioners came to Europe for a study visit on September 26-29, 2016, to visit best practice examples of European Urban Freight (UF) projects: NOVELOG, CITYLAB, SUCCESS, U-TURN, FREVUE, Freight TAILS, BestFact, LaMiLo, and Straightsol.
The objectives of the tour were to give insights on how develop targeted strategies for freight planning, to demonstrate examples of pilot tests or full-scale implementation, currently not widely used in the US, and to develop a EU/US network on UF.
The Urban Freight Study Tour started with two days in London hearing from various EU funded projects. Later, participants moved on to Brussels and Mechelen to meet with representatives of the EC DG for Mobility and Transport and seeing more projects in action. The study tour identified the following key topics for further EU/US cooperation:
- Best practices in urban freight planning
- Electrification of freight distribution
- Challenges for urban freight in megaregions
- Data collection and use to support improved freight mobility
Future activities of the programme include webinars on specific topics, a third roundtable discussion to be held at the 2018 TRB Annual meeting, and a peer exchange in the U.S. in late 2017 or early 2018, with participants from different EC research initiatives joining the visit.