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Challenge / Goal

Urban goods distribution remains one of the main challenges in the achievement of sustainable urban mobility at the local level. Heavy and light duty vehicles are responsible for a significant share of energy consumption and emissions at the city level. For many years, most efforts have been placed on understanding travel behaviour from individuals (or groups of individuals). But goods distribution behaviour has been analysed with less intensity.

Every day, more than 33,000 operations of freight distribution take place in Madrid, inside the M-30 ring-road. This activity produces an important part of the overall transport emissions of pollutants (14% of nitrogen oxide, NOx, emissions), and significantly contributes to traffic congestion and illegal parking.

The measure tested the advantages of urban freight distribution based on a new urban freight consolidation centre, using electric vans, compared to current practice, serving the logistics needs of shops located in the city centre. The long-term objective is to support the design and implementation of new local regulations and policies to promote the use of clean vehicles for urban goods distribution.


The City of Madrid (through its Energy and Climate Change Department) in cooperation with the logistics operator, FM Logistics, combine the implementation of an urban consolidation centre for last mile distribution, operated using clean vehicles, with regulatory measures, such as access regulations in traffic-restricted areas, applying time windows for goods delivery, or vehicle restrictions based on weight, size and technology (zero and ultra-low emissions vehicles).

The measure’s planning stage has included two relevant studies. A general research study about the characterisation of urban freight logistics in Madrid was used as background information to set the framework of the measure. As well as this there was a specific study for the choice and refurbishment of the consolidation centre among the facilities of the private partner FM Logistics. The logistics plans conception and the choice of delivery routes have been included in the planning process, whose milestones have been finally accomplished with the beginning of pilot action in September 2017. Currently, some vehicles are using the facility for urban freight distribution: 10 electric vans, five FUSO hybrid vans and three natural gas trucks.

As an initial step, the measure provided a deeper understanding of the urban logistics sector in Madrid and its stakeholders. It also supported the design of new logistics products and services, taking advantage of emerging new technologies to fit the needs of a multiplicity of actors.


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Time period

Planning time: 6 months to 1 year

Implementation time: 1 to 2 years

Service providers


End users

Logistics Companies

    Main benefits

  • Increasing share of renewables

  • Reducing GHG emissions , 90 tonnes/year

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