Are City Logistics Solutions Sustainable? The Cityporto case

Abstract : Urban logistics is a field that studies the best solutions for urban freight distribution with high environmental objectives. However, most actions are started by public authorities without taking into account the impacts of the new organizational schemas in the existing distribution enterprises' organization. This paper sets out to show that urban logistics approaches are currently important with reference to the noise and pollution in city center. To this end, we present the success experience of Cityporto (Padoua) in Italy. Cityporto is a service which makes deliveries in city centre by using GPL and electric lorries. So, the service is considered as less polluting as a conventional approach. In this context, it allows a delivery at any time of the day, also in the Limited Traffic Zone which is closed at certain hours of the day. This is based on the findings from an exploratory qualitative approach. Documentary analysis several interviews have be made. These concern three internal stakeholders of Interporto di Padova (the company which manages the intermodal platform of Padova, in charge of Cityporto) and one member of Padova's Municipality (which promote the project). The results of this case study show that environmental aspect is one of the foundations of the project, but the economic continuity has to be first ensured. Indeed, the preservation of this service on the long term is subjected to its solvency. Moreover, its success is associated to the recognition by employees, and also customers. With regard to the collected information, it is possible to propose a balanced scorecard, where three axes emerged in connexion with economic, environmental and social dimensions. The paper makes a contribution to the evaluation and measurement of city urban logistics using a success story that has been developed from the practitioner perspective. This experience could provide a basis for further practices in Italy and other European countries. In conclusion, the proposed case study is presented for its academic, policy and managerial implications. This experience conceptualises city logistics in relation with the Sustainable Development, setting the main objectives and steps of urban planning for freight distribution and logistics issues. But above all, it provides an understanding of the key success factors in a green transport organisation which can become a pivotal position in the upstream supply chain. De facto, the study should facilitate the implementation of green urban logistics taking into account the importance of the project's economic continuity.
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Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu, Joëlle Morana. Are City Logistics Solutions Sustainable? The Cityporto case. TeMA - Trimestrale del Laboratorio Territorio Mobilità Ambiente, 2010, 3 (2), pp.55-64. ⟨halshs-00530016⟩

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