Initiative 35: Urban Consolidation Centers

Urban Consolidation Centers
Description: “Urban Consolidation Centers”(UCC) are operational concepts that reduce freight traffic circulating within a target area by fostering consolidation of cargo at a terminal. In most cases, carriers that otherwise would make separate trips to the target area with relatively low load factors, instead transfer their loads to a neutral carrier that consolidates the cargo and conducts the last leg of the deliveries. Conceptually, this may include “joint delivery systems”, “cooperative logistics,” and “urban distribution centers,” although strictly speaking, these operations are not necessarily equivalent to a UCC.
Targeted mode: Urban Deliveries Geographic scope: Area
Type of initiative: Logistical Management: Urban Consolidation Centers Primary objective: Reduce freight traffic
Expected costs and level of effort to implement: UCCs require a large physical space located at the fringe of cities or urban areas. These properties are usually unavailable, or available only at a premium, so costs associated with UCCs are almost always high. The planning process should involve extensive stakeholder engagement to reduce opposition from unions and suppliers. UCCs are most likely to be successful if they can be imposed, controlled and complemented with supporting policies.
Advantages: -

  • Improve load factors
  • Reduce congestion
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Reduce curbside occupation time
Disadvantages: -

  • Low probability for unintended consequences:
    • May face opposition from unions and suppliers
    • May require public subsidies
    • May increase the operational cost
  • Require high capital investments
  • Require extremely large physical space
  • Difficult to enforce
  • Increase in traffic at/in the vicinity of the area/facility

  • The Binnenstadservice in Nijmegen, The Netherlands (van Rooijen and Quak 2010; Quak and Tavasszy 2011)
  • Stadsleveransen in Gothenburg, Sweden (Stadsleveransen 2013)
  • UCCs at La Rochelle and Monaco, France (BESTUFS 2007)


Source: Hensher and Figliozzi 2007

Related alternatives: 1. Daytime Delivery Bans; 2. Nighttime Delivery Bans; 3. Pick-Up/Delivery to Alternate Locations; 4. Mode Shift Programs; 5. Relocation of Large Traffic Generators (LTGs); 6. Integrate Freight into Land Use Planning Process
References: Tri-State Transportation Commission 1970; Wood 1970; Doig 2001; Ieda et al. 2001; Taniguchi 2003; Taniguchi and Nemoto 2003; Crainic et al. 2004; Kohler 2004; Nemoto 2004; Browne et al. 2005; City Ports 2005; Regan and Golob 2005; Holguín-Veras et al. 2006b; Patier 2006; BESTUFS 2007; Holguín-Veras et al. 2008a; Kawamura and Lu 2008; Nilsson 2009; START, 2009; TURBLOG 2009; Allen and Browne 2010; Doig 2010; Transport & Travel Research Ltd and Transport Research Laboratory 2010; van Rooijen and Quak 2010; Holguín-Veras et al. 2011a; Panero and Shin 2011; Quak and Tavasszy 2011; SUGAR 2011; Allen et al. 2012; Holguín-Veras et al. 2012a

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