U-TURN – Rethinking Urban Transportation through advanced tools and supply chain collaboration
The U-TURN project, funded by the European Commission as part of the strategic HORIZON 2020 program, aimed to identify new models for urban food transportation based on collaborative logistics, with the objective to reduce the environmental impacts of food deliveries in urban areas, providing new innovative low-impacts transport solutions.
The project was developed by a consortium with European-wide coverage and involvement of top industrial, academic, consulting and technology partners to propose and test innovative business models to achieve more efficient operations – both environmentally and economically. During the project, a “smart” transport matching tool and a collaborative web platform were developed and tested by 3PLs, online retailers and local farmers to measure the impact of collaborative logistics practices.
TRT, in addition to the research and methodological activity, led the Italian pilot case, focusing on the farms located around Milan, with the objective to optimise the transport distribution flows from the farms to the city centre through collaborative logistics solutions.
Local food producers around Milan have a high preference for using their personal vehicles to transport goods rather than co-operating, therefore TRT proposed and tested, through the web-based platform, new collaborative business models addressing farmers’ requirements and actual challenges faced by the km-zero food market sector.
During the project, TRT involved local farms and public stakeholders, driving the development of the pilot case, to demonstrate the opportunity to cut down travel distance, number of vehicles and their environmental impact, allowing the farmers to save time for their core business activity by introducing the collaborative logistics concept in rural areas.