Marking routes for smooth freight and city logistics

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID

TAL 7.1




Thematic areas

Smart & connected mobility
  • ITS for traffic


The measure aimed at reducing the impact of heavy freight transport connected to the Old City Harbour in the city centre of Tallinn. This was done by working out an optimal freight route from the Old City Harbour to the national road network, installing a new guidance sign system and making freight routes for GPS car navigation systems.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The measure aimed at reducing the impact of heavy freight transport connected to the Old City Harbour in the city centre of Tallinn. This was done by:

  • Working out an optimal route (instead of several possible routes) from the Old City Harbour to the main motorways of the national road network;
  • Installing a new guidance sign system guiding to and through the route (marked with arrows next to the streets on the Figure 2);
  • Creating routes for GPS car navigation systems and making them available for free download;
  • Disseminating the information on the route and availability of the GPS navigation routes with posters and booklets.

For working out the one optimal route all possible routes to different directions were mapped and analyzed. After the optimal route was agreed, a new guidance sign system was designed and installed in Tallinn and on the Tallinn ring road. The system contained both guidance signs and advance guidance signs. The route connecting the harbour to the main national road network (including international routes E20, E67 and E263).

The routes for GPS navigation were created in Garmin (.gpx file) and TomTom (.itn file) formats as separate files for navigating from St Petersburg (Russia) or Pärnu (Estonia) directions to the Old City Harbour terminals A, B and C. The files (8 for both formats) are available for free download from easily accessible links and The formats are the most used for navigating devices and can also be used in other brand devices directly or after converting.


The measure was implemented in the following stages:

Stage 1: Preparation (2009 - June 2010) – Study on the existing routes from the national highway networks to the Old City Harbour and existing legislation on national and municipal level. Negotiations with mapping services providers for creating the route for vehicle navigation systems.

Stage 2: Implementation of the guidance sign system (June 2010 – December 2010) – Planning, designing and installation of the signs on the decided route. While most of the guidance sign system was installed by November 2010, an important advance guidance sign on the Tallinn ring road (the first sign guiding from the ring road to the new route) was installed in spring 2011.

Stage 3: Creation of routes for GPS navigation systems (April 2011 – June 2011) Creating the routes for different navigation systems.

Stage 4: Preparations for dissemination (July 2011 – March 2012) – Designing of the posters for truck drivers, creation of the webpage on the Tallinn website.

Stage 5: Dissemination of the information (March 2012 – June 2012) – Distribution of the posters for truck drivers.


The innovative aspects of the measure are:

• New conceptual approach - dealing with the general concept of freight transport route marking between national road network, urban street network and Old City Harbour.
• Targeting specific user groups – this measure is targeting freight transport with a number of different technical solutions to be used: starting with regular street and road signing, but including also digital mapping used in modern navigation in-vehicle systems and printed materials to be distributed on ferries and at harbours.
• Use of new technology – the measure is about finding new ways to get the routing data specifically to truck drivers’ in-vehicle electronic GPS-based navigation systems.


The evaluation was concentrated on finding out truck drivers’ awareness and acceptance on the solutions provided with the measure. The indicators were measured with a 14 day survey with 498 truck drivers participating. In addition the number of GPS route downloads was used as an indicator.
The key results from the measure were following:

• Awareness on the measure: 40% of the interviewed truck drivers have noticed the new guidance sign system installed with the measure;
• Acceptance on the measure: 31% of the interviewed truck drivers consider that the new guidance sign system has been useful for them.
• Number of page visits to the Tallinn heavy goods vehicles web pages: The number of visits was 167 times from the Estonian language page and 60 times from the English language page.
• The number of downloads of GPS navigation routes was 188 times for TomTom format and 129 times for Garmin format.

The most important driver encountered during the measure was:

Accurate technical planning and analysis to determine requirements of measure implementation helped the implementation process.

Recommendations for measure replication:
• The traditional part of the measure is easily replicable – the traditional guidance sign system can be improved in any city, if there are suitable routes to guide to.
• The GPS route part of the measure is easily replicable – GPS navigation routes can easily be created, they are inexpensive to create and have virtually no expenses for holding them on a website.


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