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Urban logistics and site logistics: many points in common!


Covering all the issues of goods flows in urban areas - including the fateful question of the "last mile" - urban logistics is constantly being optimized to adapt to the global increase in traffic while limiting its impact on the environment. These concerns are similar to those of construction site logistics. Here are some explanations.

If we were to consider the city or the agglomeration as an organism in its own right, urban logistics would be the equivalent of the regulation of its circulatory system: an essential function responsible for continuously delivering to each organ all the elements it needs to function properly... but also to free it from the waste it produces. The overall fluidity, as well as the timely supply of each recipient, are essential factors: otherwise, there is a risk of congestion or failure that can cause harm to the area concerned, or even to the entire system. An additional element of complexity must also be taken into account: the fact that several stakeholders (public and private) may be involved in this operation, thus multiplying the interactions.

From this comes the need for centralized control at the scale of the urban area: traffic signals and traffic control cannot be sufficient for optimal control. This is a crucial issue, particularly from an environmental point of view: while transport accounts for an average of 70%* of NOx emissions and 32%* of fine particles (PM10) in urban areas, freight transport contributes 40%* of NOx and 50%* of particles! The "last mile" (where vehicles likely to cause noise, pollution, congestion and other nuisances are parked) is the one that proportionally "costs" the most, since it accounts for "20% of traffic, occupies 30% of the roadway and is the source of 25% of greenhouse gas emissions," according to figures published by the Center for Strategic Analysis**.

Logistics logic

On a construction site scale, the problems are obviously transposable. The corollary is that any improvement in logistics will not only have virtuous effects on the operation of the site, but will also benefit local residents. This can be seen in the QIEVO solution developed by Mobilty by Colas. Designed to optimize mobility in exceptional situations (major urban construction sites, etc.), it enables the regulation of last-mile logistics flows and the guidance of delivery personnel by means of centralized planning to promote "just-in-time" delivery. QIEVO promotes secure and peaceful logistics by organizing multi-site management, which reduces the traffic and parking of construction trucks on the public domain and preserves the quality of life of local residents. QIEVO thus encourages the ecological and energy transition by improving air quality and the carbon footprint. From the construction site to the urban area, there is then only one step to take... 

Sources: *La logistique urbaine. Connaitre et agir, Cerema, 2015. **Analysis note n° 274, 2012.