With the growth of e-commerce, online purchasing and home delivery of goods are becoming an increasingly widespread service. The development of this activity is affecting last-mile delivery, which is the last step in the supply chain in which the parcel reaches the customer directly.
The main issue with home deliveries lies in the organisation of the delivery system. The lack of cooperation between the different private companies may lead to a loss of time and money for the enterprises since there may be unnecessary trips to the same place, or even the presence of several partially empty vans on the road. Especially in large cities, an organised urban logistics system together with good cooperation between delivery companies is essential to solve and prevent issues affecting different urban areas.
As part of the EIT Urban Mobility initiative, the Madrid Living Lab partner within the LEAD project, LastMileTeam, has developed the Last Mile Digital Platform, an inclusive digital technology that focuses on the organisation of last-mile delivery. This tool enables the development of fairer, smarter, and greener business models based on the city’s data collection and its experience.
The features begin with the simplest raw digital twins to assess the impact of deploying new delivery networks or modifying existing ones, low-emission zones or other traffic restrictions and culminate in the creation of a delivery logistics platform validated by both government and companies, and aims to optimise, track, manage and share information with all stakeholders.
The platform has reached several achievements, proving to be a pioneering tool in the delivery field. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology ‘Portfolio Company’ considered it to be ‘one of the most promising start-ups to reduce congestion and increase the efficiency of the freight transport system’. Moreover, Last Mile Digital Platform was the winner of the Spanish National Mobility Award 2021 and the Mobility Challenge at #innovateagainstthevirus 2020, under the Resilient Road Transport category.
The participation in the LEAD project, to design Digital Twins of urban logistics in six European cities, has further enhanced the app and turned it into an example for other cities willing to improve their freight transport system.
Author: Claudia Ribeiro