Green Gothenburg

Smooth Urban Goods Transport

To improve transport of urban goods in the Gothenburg city centre, a joint goods reception for smaller deliveries to downtown shops has been established using digital systems, heavy trucks and cargo bikes.

Urban logistics contributes to challenges in the form of traffic congestion and poor inner-city environment but is also a prerequisite for an attractive city. Therefore, 2019 Volvo Group started an exciting project in which industry, academia and society will jointly develop and test a system-of-systems in Gothenburg to reduce the number of goods transports to the inner-city area by 40 per cent. Participating in the project is also the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, the Gothenburg Urban Transport Administration, Nordstans Samfällighet, GLC, Best Transport, DHL, Velove, Pling Transport, and the Swedish Transport Administration.

The background for the project is a study which revealed that a large proportion of trucks delivering goods to the heart of the city do not carry a full cargo, and that approximately 90 per cent of truck traffic handled just one-third of the goods entering the downtown area.

Through coordination the trucks will be more fully loaded. A preliminary study indicates that the number of transports to the city centre could be cut by at least 40 per cent, accompanied by a 75 per cent reduction in fossil fuel vehicles for goods delivery in the inner city.

In order to test and demonstrate solutions, the project has established a living lab where solutions will be gradually implemented and create an open platform for more innovation and start-ups.

The research project partners are now taking on the challenge by developing a solution to improve both the environment and traffic flows in metropolitan areas. The physical structure includes multi modal transportation using long/regional haulage to urban consolidation centers, of consolidated goods to a city hub using electric trucks with increased fill rates, and last mile delivery from the city hub using electric micro vans and cargo bikes. More efficient transports bring lower environmental impact and fewer traffic jams. In addition, logistics costs will be reduced and deliveries to city centres will be more secure.

The project is named SMOOTh, and stands for SysteM-Of-Systems for sustainable urban gOods Transports.

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