Consumers have come to expect responsive logistics systems, able to deliver products quickly, at low or zero cost. These expectations and the increasing shift to on-demand logistics are putting a strain on last mile delivery systems, with challenges to accommodate consumer demands and remain competitive, while striving to become more sustainable. These challenges negatively impact stakeholders in the whole value chain. Small and large-scale consumer platforms struggle with pledging swift delivery times, albeit with little market economic incentives for the creation of sustainable systems, while cities are also starting to feel the strain.
To minimize the negative impacts of this phenomenon, the EU funded LEAD project (www.leadproject.eu) is creating Digital Twins1 of urban logistics networks in six cities (Living Labs), to test different innovative solutions for shared-connected and low-emission logistics operations and to address the requirements of the on- demand economy while aligning competing interests and creating value for all different stakeholders.
The LEAD objectives are aligned with the Physical Internet (PI) concept, which aims to a transition from single optimization problems to a holistic operational research approach based on an integrative transportation network. The long-term vision of LEAD is to design an Open PI-inspired framework for Smart City Logistics that incorporates the created Digital Twins, laying the foundations for the development of large-scale city Digital Twins.
The session will delve into the experiences of 3 LEAD partners, that are also ALICE members, which are developing solutions to address the challenges affecting on-demand city logistics, through collaborative activities in Living Labs and the creation of Digital Twins of urban logistics networks: CityLogin, SONAE and Last Mile. In particular, the specific case of the SONAE partner will be presented, as the company is already applying the Physical Internet approach to its operations in both the LEAD and ICONET project.
The session will provide participants with practical examples on how Living Labs and Digital Twins, coupled with the PI approach, can enable and accelerate innovation for on-demand city logistics. What are the current trends and challenges city logistics are facing? What PI-focused solutions is LEAD developing to address these challenges? Why are co-creation approaches so appealing to address challenges brought about by on-demand city logistics? These and other questions will be answered.