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Kuehne-Nagel's video: Rail tracking and warehouse management (6:50 mins)

Demonstration poster presentations available to download


Demonstration A: DHL Supply Chain's Urban Consolidation Centre in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat

PROJECT UPDATE - Final Demo Concept

The original demonstration concept was an urban consolidation centre (UCC) to alleviate the negative impacts caused by last-mile delivery in the commercial area of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. During the design phase this concept was modified based on dialogue with stakeholders and industry experts and review of other UCCs. In order to sustain the model, distribution to small retailers was combined with distribution to City Council premises (a big demand attractor) and other supply chains already managed by DHL. This involved the adaptation of an existing logistics facility to accommodate the consolidation.

This demonstration has involved several stakeholders. DHL SC Spain is involved as the UCC manager and CENIT as a supporter in the preparation and design phase. The city council of L'Hospitalet has acted as the promoter of the initiative, especially through the merchants' association. And most important, the small retailers located in the city centre that volunteered to participate during the demonstration phase. The most challenging and time-consuming task has been the enrolment of the small retailers in the demonstration.

The demonstration began on the 18th of February and finished on the 31st of May 2013, with a total of 350,000 packages moved, approximately, with May being the most active month, as new receivers were added to the demonstration and as some stores took some time to switch their deliveries to the UCC.

Initial Concept - Background information

DHL SUPPLY CHAIN (Spain) planned a new Urban Consolidation Centre in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Both form part of the same continuous urban layout. The population is around 258.000, and the population density is about 21.000 inhabitants/km2 and there is a high concentration of commercial stores of wide variety of types.

Map of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
Map of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (study region in red)

Today, there is a high number of commercial vehicles entering the city centre, illegal parking due to oversaturated loading/unloading (L/U) places, lack of distribution regulations, but a clear willingness from the administration to solve the problems. The results are, low vehicle load factor, high operational costs in the last mile distribution, excessive GHG emissions and noise pollution, as well as severe congestion. In general, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, there is however a lack of a clear and uniform regulation to favour efficient urban delivery strategies.

To improve the performance of urban freight deliveries in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, DHL Supply Chain operated a UCC to reduce the number of vehicles entering the defined area (last mile distribution) while maintaining service levels. The shipment consolidation in a UCC combines the loads of several carriers. The main 'smart' concept was based on consolidating the demand and the adaptation of regulations in a flexible manner (depending on Full-truckload or Less-than-truckload carriers).

DHL Supply Chain truck and loading bay
DHL Supply Chain truck and loading bay

The aims of the city council are to organise and regulate urban distribution in the city centre and to follow the Sustainable Mobility Plan (promoted by the Municipality) in terms of congestion and other inefficiencies. In 2008, the city council joined a Covenant of Mayors in order to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. The situation is expected to improve after the demo, with fewer loading/unloading operations, more regulated deliveries and a positive impact on road congestion. As more retailers and freight transport companies enrol to this initiative, the more (social) benefits will be achieved. Hence, the municipality will have to promote the use of the UCC for all the transport companies. The management of the UCC may be concessioned to a private or public company.

More specifically, the demonstration was expected to:

  • Reduce delivery costs with up to 20% (based on model estimates)
  • Reduce the number of traffic movements with at least 30%
  • Significantly reduce the number of truck-kilometres from the initial 452000 per year (2005)
  • Reduce CO2 emissions with up to 50% (based on model estimates and the expected reduction in truck-kilometres)
  • Also reduce the energy consumption from the existing 847,853 (GJ)
  • Shorter delivery times due to reduced congestion
  • Increased punctuality due to the proximity to destinations

Pilot test illustration
Illustration of the general scheme for UCC perfomance

The demonstration involved several types of stakeholders. These included:

  • DHL SUPPLY CHAIN SPAIN, S.L.U. (DHL) who operate the new UCC
  • The City Council of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, who will contribute with new regulations of freight distribution
  • Shippers who will save last-mile costs
  • Goods receivers who will receive goods through UCC with better service than before
  • Residents who will be exposed to less negative impacts from urban deliveries: Less congestion, less noise, emissions, more parking slot supply, etc.

The municipality is prepared to adapt the current municipal policies and regulations to design a flexible control system for freight vehicles.



Project Final Review meeting, Brussels

Smart Urban Freight Conference hosted by NewRail, Newcastle University, including contributions from Straightsol project
[Conference webpage]

Evaluation Framework Training Sessions, Newcastle University

Open ENLoCC event, Brussels, including presentation of Colruyt and Delhaize night-time deliveries demonstration

Demonstration Results Workshop/Exhibition in Amsterdam

TNT Express demonstration workshop in Brussels

Oxfam demonstration workshop in Batley, near Leeds, UK

DHL Supply Chain demonstration workshop in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat/Barcelona, Spain

Oslo: Demonstration workshop
Smart Urban Transport - Standardising information in retail supply chain management and last-mile distribution


Thessaloniki: Demonstration workshop
"Intelligent" systems for the interconnection of urban-interurban freight transport


Brussels: STRAIGHTSOL project workshop on Smart Urban Freight Solutions
(in collaboration with the Smartfusion partnership)