The Smoovit zero-emission delivery vehicle, Source: Volvo Group

Micromobility vehicles are at the centre of Gothenburg’s logistics transformation

Micromobility vehicles are at the centre of Gothenburg’s logistics transformation

The solution to the polluting problem of last-mile deliveries

Last week, delivery was completed of the first parcels in the City of Gothenburg (Sweden) by using a new smart and sustainable logistical system for urban goods. The project, which is called Smoovit, aims to tackle the problem of excessive carbon emissions caused by delivery vehicles going in and out of the urban cores.

The project is based on the idea of a “system of systems”. In other words, it aims to integrate different spheres of urban life, such as merchandise deliveries and traffic management into a comprehensive whole. The industry, academia and society are jointly developing and testing the system of systems in Gothenburg, where they aim to reduce the number of goods transport vehicles to the inner-city area by 40 per cent.

Carbon-neutral logistics

Last-mile delivery is the final stage of an item’s journey, where it reaches the end customer. It’s also the most carbon-intensive stage. And in the context of the more densely populated city centres, it is also a major contributor to traffic congestion.

The problem is compounded by the fact that many modes of transport into the cities are simply inefficient. Some vehicles travel half-empty, and this transportation of “air” involves unnecessary costs and a big footprint on the environment.

Instead of having transport providers deliver goods using trucks with low load rates, Smoovit will help to consolidate goods across multiple transport providers to reduce traffic into the city centre.

The project works in three steps:

  1. Smoovit receives data from multiple transport providers to optimise distribution;
  2. The goods arrive at Urban Consolidation Centers outside the city to be consolidated and loaded onto larger and fully loaded trucks;
  3. Trucks arrive at a city hub where goods are loaded onto smaller zero-emission distribution vehicles (micromobility).

The bikes can then easily get into the city centre for the last-mile of delivery. In some areas, they also pick up returns, which are then taken back to the hub to be reloaded and shipped back to different e-commerce companies. 



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