Due to a rise in e-commerce and urbanization there is a rapid increase in last mile deliveries in the Nordic countries and internationally. This pace may increase due to the Corona crisis where many choose to shop on-line in order to avoid crowds.
The project purpose is to increase sustainability in urban last mile deliveries by understanding how innovations in urban last-mile may reduce the negative effects of e-commerce and at the same time create world-class delivery services for consumers. The i-Smile develops an innovation platform for upscaling sustainable business models for urban last mile deliveries. The project will investigate the rationale of stakeholders in last mile deliveries to identify the drivers for making sustainable choices and propose innovative business models. Primary stakeholders are consumers, shippers and logistics service providers, as well as municipalities. To meet the growing demand for logistic services due to e-commerce, the project will further investigate the use of light electric freight vehicles (LEFVs) and automatized delivery vehicles in last-mile deliveries. Presently, several logistics service providers test LEFVs in urban last-mile deliveries. One major, outstanding question is: what type of LEFV is suitable /optimal for transporting which freight flows. It is also unclear how standardization of mini-containers can make seamless multimodal shipments possible. The project aims to find answers to these important questions.
The project is co-financed by Nordic Innovation through their Nordic Smart Mobility and Connectivity program. The program aims to develop a more sustainable and connected transport system in the Nordic region and create opportunities for Nordic businesses. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (through the city logistics program) also co-finances the project, which made it possible to include a third Norwegian case company in i-SMILE. The project has a total budget of 750 000 EUR.