Evaluation of Urban Consolidation Centers: A Methodological Framework

Michael Gogas, Eftihia Nathanail

Procedia Engineering (ISSN:  1877-7058), Vol. 178, pp. 461–471 (2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.proeng.2017.01.089
Keywords: evaluation framework; urban freight transport; stakeholders; urban consolidation centers; optimization

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Over the last decade, the focus in the domain of freight transport has been set on the investigation of ways to eliminate time and cost in last mile delivery, while continuously upgrading the level of provided services, promoting a number of innovative logistics solutions. One of the most important issues is the optimization of the interconnection amongst the interurban and urban sections of the supply chain, where the role of the Freight Transport Interchanges (i.e. Freight Centers) has been fundamental. The key issue is three fold and the optimum solution lies between: a) the selection of the most appropriate location for the establishment of each facility, b) the identification of the facility’s attributes that should match the interest area’s needs and c) the evaluation of the concept as considered to be part of the local policies and measures promoted or planned for the area of interest. The answer to the afore mentioned issues is provided through a two level approach incorporating the development of two discrete, but successive decision making supportive evaluation tools: a methodological approach to provide a solution to the facility location problem for Freight Centers and an integrated evaluation framework used for the assessment of the operation of the specific Freight Center category, the Urban Consolidation Centers (UCC). Both methodological frameworks are based on selected performance indicators, incorporating divergent stakeholders’ interests considering conflicting business models and operations.