New Concepts of Urban Business-Related Traffic - A Working Report on Practical and Scientific Efforts

Sigrid Klein-Vielhauer
Karlsruhe: Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe 2001
(Wissenschaftliche Berichte FZKA 6599)


This study is part of a wide-ranging technology assessment investigation analysing the possibilities of a more efficient and environmentally friendly urban traffic. It centres mainly on the sector of urban goods transport as a part of business-related traffic.

The examples of urban goods transport under discussion in this study refer to eight German cities: Kassel, Nürnberg, Augsburg, Essen, Duisburg, Hamburg, Regensburg and especially München. The initial focus was put on horizontal cooperations of basically independent business partners. Wherever possible, their temporal evolution was scrutinized. The investigation looked also into the following three fields of action: goods distribution centres (with or without combining at least two different traffic modes), alternative weight classes and alternative fuels or engines for delivery vehicles and the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Already existing scientific studies and documentation reflecting the introduction and the practice of concrete initiatives in urban goods transport, but also their preparation, were subjected to a secondary analysis and supplemented by several targeted interviews.

Particular attention was given to the role of the private business versus that of the public sector. The presentation of the case studies is summarized by a cross-sectional evaluation of the chosen examples. This aims at capturing the wide variety of aspects of present or future importance in the subject areas on which the study is based.

The analysis of the selected examples gives rise to some fundamental conclusions. One, for instance, is pointing to the evidence that the real significance of urban cooperations between forwarders is less important than expected, but they may still be considered to have a positive impact in the urban goods transport sector. They are able, to a certain degree, to stimulate an overall better traffic and ecological situation of a city. Therefore they should expand their activities which have so far often been restricted to deliveries of bulk-goods into the inner part of a city. They should tackle, among others, other bundled up transport activities, including those in the parcel market with a possible further growth potential.

In the past, the formation of urban cooperations was mainly due to the autonomous decisions of private businesses.

No evidence could be found that there already is or will be in the near future any strong competition between cooperations of producers in the same sector and urban cooperations of forwarders.

The implementation of internet-based ICTs has currently started in three cities - Duisburg, Hamburg and Regensburg - and is aimed initially at the simple running of urban cooperations between forwarders. ICTs may be one important prerequisite for an extended application of urban bundling by cooperations and therefore also for its growing success in economic, traffic and ecological terms.

Sigrid Klein-Vielhauer
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe
Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung
und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
Postfach 3640
D-76021 Karlsruhe
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
D-76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
Tel.: +49 (0) 721 / 608 - 23645
Fax: +49 (0) 721 / 608 - 24806

Internet: Homepage von Sigrid Klein-Vielhauer

Last update: 21.07.2011 - Comments to:     ITAS-WWW-Team