Winter Semester 2013 / 2014,

Link urban logistics

One of the biggest challenges we’re facing in the 21st century is urban mobility, especially the distribution of goods in cities. Today’s logistics consist of too many trucks that drive around unorganised or even fully loaded and have grave impacts on the city and the environment. The goal was to reduce urban truck movement and propose a sustainable alternative.

Link is a new urban logistics system. A seamless, synchronised system that makes use of existing infrastructure such as the resources of public transportation: buses, trams, stations, depots etc. Public transportation creates a tight network of vehicles on separate lanes that drive throughout the city the whole day, bus stops and stations that are central local hotspots and service depots that are located in the outskirts of the city. This mobile network is the base for the Link system. In order to not disrupt the flow of public transportation, several elements were added or modified. The bus and tram depots act as consolidation centres were cargo arriving to the city is being consolidated according to districts and loaded on the Link vehicles. These are electric semi autonomous cargo vehicles that supply a network of neighbourhood hubs- local storage spaces that are located in parking spaces on the streets, in the vicinity of bus stops. Using sensor technologies, cloud systems, GPS etc. they follow buses and trams from the consolidation centres to their destinations- the neighbourhood hubs, were they autonomously replace their fully loaded container with an empty one and follow the public transportation back to the depots to be reloaded and sent on. The system performs “reversed logistics” as well. Meanwhile the full container in the hub acts as a temporary storage space. Since the distribution distances have been shortened, the “last mile” distribution- to the local shops- is achieved with alternative possibilities such as a deliveryman on foot, bicycle and so on.

Supervision Helmut Staubach
Project categoryDiploma