The NOVELOG Project participated in the US EU Urban Logistics Study Visit in September 2016. The Study Visit was organised by the European Commission and US Department of Transport – Federal Highway Administration in conjunction with representatives of current and past projects on urban freight. NOVELOG has been involved from the start in this Cooperation between the EU and the US aiming to help increase knowledge and awareness on the problems and solutions for urban freight and logistics on both sides of the Atlantic.
On the 26th of September the US Delegates, including members of the US Department of Transport – Federal Highway Administration and representatives of the California Department of Transportation and the Houston-Galveston Area Council Department of Transportation, were welcomed to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) by the representative of the Borough Mr. Timothy Martin and two representatives from the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT). Mr. Martin presented the goals and objectives of the Borough and the vision for urban freight, as well as the aims of the Freight Travel Plan, which is the subject of the LBBD’s NOVELOG case study. Dr. Stathacopoulos presented an overview of NOVELOG and the current results so far, followed by a discussion on the problem of congestion in London and some of the differences between the UK and the US in city logistics operations and measures. The discussion was followed by a short tour of Barking Riverside, to see the challenges at stake and discuss how the Freight Travel Plan will contribute to alleviating them.
On the 28th of September the US Delegates were welcomed in Mechelen by Mrs Anne Recour representing the city of Mechelen, and a representative of HIT. The visit started with a demonstration of the e-Locker system, to be used in the NOVELOG pilot, and a tour of the city centre where the pilot is implemented. The delegates were then given a presentation of the NOVELOG Mechelen pilot activities and objectives by Mrs Anne Recour, while Mr. Aristos Halatsis of HIT presented in brief the pilot activities in the remaining NOVELOG cities. The presentations were followed by a discussion between the US delegates and the participants of the visit on the problems and expected impacts of the solutions tested. The day was concluded with a visit in the premises of a local company involved in city distribution using electric cargo bikes and a presentation of their activities and challenges faced.
During both visits, main topics of interest for the US delegates included the involvement of industrial stakeholders in decision making, the congestion problems of the cities and the differences in addressing them (e.g. EU focus on smaller cleaner trucks vs US focus on fewer larger trucks), the use of smart lockers, and on how local retailers can be brought onboard as for the adoption of Limited Access Zones.