How Authorities can support Urban Consolidation Centres? A Review of the Best Practices

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


Freight transport affects urban welfare mainly through congestion and emissions. An urban consolidation center is considered as a solution to reduce the negative impacts of freight vehicles on the city. However, previous experiences have shown the difficulty for these centers to be self-sustainable. Given their positive effects on the city, literature is asking for support by local authorities. We propose therefore in this paper to review the different experiences in order to identify the different possible type of supports that were developed by the authorities.

The results show that most of the time, authorities limit the access of the city to freight vehicles. These measures are first designed to regulate a pedestrian zone or an environmental zone. However, these access limitations can also support an urban consolidation center given the last-mile constraints for the transporters. Time windows and weight restrictions are in that context the most popular measures. Still, the authorities have also developed regulations that support specifically an urban distribution center. A license system and a compulsory use of a UCC are considered as the strongest public support. But authorities have also granted the UCC operators with favorable access rights over other transport operators. Another kind of public support is financial. Subsidies are mostly granted to support the start of an urban consolidation center. Subsidies can also be structural but most of structural support was by given by the provision of public space for the depot. Finally, indirect subsidies were also found as a method to support the business model of an urban consolidation center.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventNECTAR Cluster 3 workshop - Algarve, Portugal
Duration: 16 Apr 201517 Apr 2015


WorkshopNECTAR Cluster 3 workshop


  • Urban Consolidation Centres
  • Policy support
  • Literature review


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