Rethinking urban transportation through advanced tools and supply chain collaboration

About the project

In urban areas, tackling economic and environmental sustainability challenges increasingly calls for horizontal collaboration in logistics.

In this context, the U-TURN project set out to tackle particular problems associated with with urban food transportation, including congestion, increased use of convenience stores, and a rise in home deliveries of food ordered online.

With shared logistics as its base operating principle, U-TURN sought to establish more efficient and sustainable distribution models for food by conducting three pilot initiatives:

  • Pilot 1: The distribution of packaged goods from food manufacturers to retail outlets located in urban areas in Athens (Greece). This used two different practices: sharing a common vehicle for deliveries and an Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC) for collaborative ‘last-mile’ goods distribution.
  • Pilot 2: The distribution of fresh food from local producers and online retailers to consumers in urban areas in Milan (Italy).
  • Pilot 3: Food delivery from online retailers to consumers in urban areas in London (United Kingdom). Three different supply chain structures were identified, with a micro hub playing a different role in each case.

Through the knowledge gained from these pilots, U-TURN helped improve understanding of freight (food) distribution in urban areas and put forward innovative practices and tools for stakeholders improve their operations. This set of tools facilitates the quick analysis and uptake of shared logistics practices for market stakeholders.

Find more in-depth information on the lessons learned in U-TURN on p.31 - p.33 of the publication CIVITAS Research Projects - Lessons Learned - 2015-2018.

U-Turn website


Fast Facts

June 2015 - May 2018

Project duration

9 partners

Project partners


Project funding

Knowledge Bank

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