Last mile delivery is the final stage in a good’s journey, where it is delivered to the end customer – the most carbon intensive stage. The growth of e-commerce is leading to increased traffic congestion and CO2-emissions from delivery vehicles. Carbon-neutral alternatives for last mile deliveries are currently being explored and some of the concepts being trialed in Gothenburg.
Micro terminal for transport of waste, goods and packages
There was a need of reducing the heavy transport on Campus Lindholmen in Gothenburg. In 2008, the City of Gothenburg took lead to offer a service where the heavy transport with goods and waste were replaced by coordinated deliveries by an electrified mini truck and thereby reduced the heavy transport by 80 % on Campus Lindholmen.
When the service was to be procured once again in 2016, the City of Gothenburg used innovative procurement focusing on what the service would contribute to, not how it should be implemented. The waste management company Renova were offered the contract and since 2020 they have delivering goods and packages from a micro terminal as well as picking up waste fraction and retrieved it back to said micro terminal.
The Traffic Office of Gothenburg has also compiled a report on smart deliveries for a sustainable city, sharing the know-how of being the owner of the process from a-z.
Self-driving robot delivers packages
The Climate Neutral Urban Logistics project tests and evaluates new, autonomous solutions for delivering goods in cities. A self-driving robot has been tested for package deliveries at the Chalmers University of Technology’s Johanneberg campus. The project also aims to generate new knowledge about how urban logistics affects the environment and how the transition to autonomous solutions affects society and infrastructure in general.
Smooth reloading to sustainable city deliveries
In central Gothenburg, there are different city hubs for reloading goods from trucks to electric cargo bikes. Either loose goods are reloaded, or entire containers are moved between vehicles. By using a smart container system, reloading is fast and handled by one person. The bikes can then easily get out into the city center for the last mile delivery. In some areas, they also pick up returns, which are then driven back to the hub to be reloaded and shipped back to different e-commerce companies.
The SMOOTh project brings together industry, academia, and society to jointly develop and test a system in Gothenburg for reducing the number of goods transports in inner-city areas by 40 percent. Instead of having transport providers deliver goods using trucks with low load rates, SMOOTh will help to consolidate goods across multiple transport providers.
Photo: Älvstranden Utveckling