Urban Logistics Manifesto: challenges and solutions for the last mile

Yesterday, we attended the presentation of the Urban Logistics Manifesto (MLU)at the Madrid Innovation Lab. The conference was attended by and participated in by some of the most important players in the logistics and e-commerce sector, such as Dolores OrtizGeneral Director of Planning and Mobility Infrastructures of the Madrid City Council; Fernando Romero, Councilor for Economic Development, Employment and Transport of the Coslada City Council, and important companies in the field of logistics such as Mercadona, Mahou-San Miguel, Koiki, Mox, CityLogin, Goggo Network, Celering, Bluenest, Cargobici, Goodman, Saba and Iberdrola.

The urban distribution of goods It requires a complete reconversion, as it is responsible for a very important – and growing – fraction of the traffic jams, noise and air pollution that our cities suffer from on a daily basis. The rise of ecommerce is causing increased pressure on last mile logistics, which impacts the transport system and increases congestion, noise, pollution, costs, etc.

Moved by the determination to illuminate a shared vision around more sustainable urban logistics in the context of cleaner and more livable cities, El Futuro de la Movilidad and CITET, with the support of local administrations and relevant companies in the logistics sector, have worked together since last March to build a reference that allows to deploy bold policies and implement lines of action that lead to a more sustainable and efficient model.

In Madrid We are very aware of the urban distribution of goods and we are working on new strategies based on innovation. This manifesto is essential to contribute to the improvement and advancement of everything that is about to happen in the coming years in the Community”, began Dolores Ortiz.

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In addition to large merchandise companies and institutional representatives, there were several startups dedicated to the last mile that put their point of view and participated in the manifesto. MuyPymes spoke exclusively with Eduardo Uriarte, VP Technology and Expansion of Goggo and Rafael Higuera, CTO of BlueNest.

GOGGOEduardo Uriarte: “Delivery robots will lower prices”

Goggo Network is a French IT company, with a delegation in Spain, which was founded in 2018 to solve the challenges of freight transport, through autonomous and electrical systems. A few days ago, we published one of his projects, in Zaragoza, consisting of the use of small robots to distribute packages.

For Eduardo Uriarte, future urban mobility “It is going to be electric, autonomous and very efficient, that is where we are going to give a lot to talk about. It will not be necessary for people to go inside the delivery vehicle, since these will be autonomous and we will have an optimized and efficient fleet.

We asked him if these types of devices were feasible in large cities, such as Madrid, with a large influx of people and equally intense traffic. «They are feasible and necessary, since it is vital to have sustainable mobility (their vehicles are electric) and that the fleet is autonomous makes it cheaper for customers and users«. “In the next few months we will open the service to users, and you will be able to order a pizza and have it delivered to you by robot.”

Regarding the acts of vandalism that robots may suffer in the street, Eduardo told us that the smallest ones are quite heavy (so they cannot be stolen just like that) and you are all geolocated. «Everything is under control, our team always knows what has happened and where; in any case, we expect someone to give it a kick one day and it is included in our business model». The robots are electric and from the central the battery is controlled, where they go every time they finish making a distribution.

These robots are going to make delivery cheaper, «right now the distribution is not sustainable because the costs do not stop increasing: hire a driver, pay for gasoline… and on top of that it causes a lot of traffic. With robots, the service will cost less for the company and this will redound the price to its customers«.

Finally, Eduardo told us that a manifesto like the MLUs arises in the face of the great problem that there is, right now, in urban logistics. «Companies, users and institutions are facing this for the first time, and agreeing to know how to solve it is very necessary».

RAFAELRafael Higuera: “Manifestos like today’s give visibility to the problems of urban logistics”

Bluenest is Globalvia’s line of innovation for advanced air mobility and management of vertiports. Its objective is to be the key player in this new infrastructure for air logistics, passenger transport, automated services with UAS and other applications offered by eVTOLs.

«We seek to modify the concept of logistics transport, within the city, using the sky, that is, drones… we do lockers where people can pick up their orders and we take care of the entire logistics structure of the last mile».

The current regulations do not allow the flight of drones over crowds of people, but Higuera trusts in a change, in this sense, that allows them to open their technology to most cities. “We are already in talks with some places, like Alcobendas (Madrid), convincing them that cargo drone flights are safe. We are also talking with the air regulator and we hope that the legislation will change.

The most feasible will be the merchandise exchange flights between logistics hubs. «For example, we are trying to develop a project so that the hospitals of La Paz and Carlos III can send tests. The vertiports that we make are so that the drones can take off, land, make all the communications with the regulator and AEASA and the operators can transport the packages ».

Higuera indicated that a manifesto like the one presented is important because «If we base ourselves on the regulations or individual interests of institutions or companies, we are not going to solve the problems. The solutions are not simple and manifest as today’s, they pool the knowledge of many of these parties, giving visibility to a problem to which many points of view must be added.

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