The U-TURN project aims to identify new models for urban food transportation. Challenges for the urban logistics of food come from population growth, congestion and environmental damage alongside increased use of convenience stores and the home delivery of internet purchased groceries.
U-Turn is designed to contribute to our understanding of freight distribution in urban areas, addressing the special requirements of food transportation. It will develop and propose innovative business models from a new focused toolkit to achieve more efficient operations - both environmentally and economically.
By analysing existing freight urban flows and identifying synergies that can be exploited by logistics sharing and collaboration strategies, the work will bring forward practical options for communities and operators.
These will arise through (1) comparative analysis based on actual market data, (2) simulation experimentation and (3) pilot execution in three different countries: UK, Italy and Greece.
U-TURN will demonstrate the societal and economic potential through benefit quantification and analyse the barriers to adoption. The deliverables will include a “smart” transport matching tool that will operate on a collaboration platform, a simulation tool and an economic assessment model to compare the base case with the forecast outcomes.
City farms and internet shopping are game changers providing the potential for new models; the U-TURN team believes that these and other drivers will provide major opportunities to transform transportation flows of food in urban areas.