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Freight Logistics in Smart Cities

Illustration of a busy harbour


CITYFREIGHT is a brand new project, led by NHH with several project partners in Norway and the rest of the world, including the Centre or Climate and Energy Transformation (CET) at the University of Bergen.


Urban population growth is driving an increase in the amount of freight that goes into and out of cities. That growth poses an increasing challenge to freight transportation in smaller compact cities with difficult topology, which is typical for most Norwegian cities and numerous cities abroad. This transportation challenge is exacerbated by phenomena such as an increase in internet trade, the demand for fast delivery, and a reduction in the ownership of private cars in the city centre which could be used for shopping. The result is an increase in the total volume of freight, and more critically, in the total number of deliveries, normally managed by a large variety of transportation companies. Unless planned for and regulated, a consequence might be increased traffic, with enhanced energy consumption, that competes for available space and may affect living conditions for a growing urban population. Hence, to respond to this challenge, public authorities need to search for innovative ways to handle the substantial increase in the number of deliveries.

CITYFREIGHT will provide public authorities in smaller, topologically complicated, cities and initially the City of Bergen, with a toolbox for realistically planning for a city that is energy efficient and sustainable in terms of freight transportation. The project brings together researchers with expertise in logistics modelling, local governance, law and public perceptions, who will work closely with relevant local, regional and national user partners in knowledge production and exchange. We involve a strong team of user partners, including the National Public Roads Authority, City of Bergen, Hordaland County Council, Bergen Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Port of Bergen, and Nordic Edge innovation cluster all have active roles in the project. The public authorities involved are responsible for analysis and planning, policies, rules, regulations and implementation of policy instruments related to freight transportation in the Bergen region, and are at the same time representatives for the inhabitants. The private sector actors involved broadly represent relevant local trade, industry, smart city initiatives and delivery companies.