The project, coordinated by Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg and supported by the Danish Ministry of Transport, ran from April 2000 to December 2003. It developed and trialled improved freight distribution methods in middle size cities to reduce negative environmental effects.
The project used a practical, experience-based approach to problem solving, rather than a theoretical approach. The aims were:
- Establish a forum for ideas and solutions regarding efficient goods transport.
- Learn from the experiences of other European countries.
- Share knowledge with municipalities in Denmark and other European countries.
The three cities brought different approaches to the project and with the Ministry of Transport formed a steering group which established a joint forum - the Forum for City Logistics.
The principle in Aalborg was based on voluntary participation. The municipality, the shop owners and the freight distributors started a dialogue and defined measures to streamline freight delivery in the city centre. The objectives were:
- Improved time delivery
- More efficient delivery
- Improved working conditions for freight distributors
- Reduced numbers of freight vehicles in the area
On these bases a series of trial measures were defined which, if successful, would be implemented:
- Loading and unloading zones
- Two persons per vehicle
- Consignment notes among the distributors
- Altered driving direction in pedestrian area
- Coordinated freight delivery among distributors >
- Electric vehicles
- Regulation and access restriction in the pedestrian area for freight transport
- One shop as a drop zone for freight to nearby shops
- The forum enabled the discussion of new ideas for freight distribution in urban areas, resulting in high motivation among participants to make the trial a success. This included members of the logistic freight chain e.g. freight distributors, commercial operators, the municipality and the Police.
- Measures implemented during the trial period reduced freight delivery times by an average of 5 minutes. The driver's ability to comply with the time access restriction has improved and they now exit the pedestrianised area quicker. Individually the measures implemented lead to less time spent on freight delivery, visual and environmental improvements in the area and improved working conditions for the drivers. The measures implemented were not equally successful in meeting objectives, but offer inspiration for further trials or projects.
Aalborg implemented different measures to reduce the growing demand for goods distribution in the city centre. Most measures implemented during the trial were successful in meeting the project objectives.
Local conditions, e.g. distribution flow and road network, are important for the success of similar trials. The measures from Aalborg can be applied in other cities, but they should be built around local conditions.