Optimising locations of urban consolidation center for sustainable urban logistics using agent-based modelling

Research output: Contribution to conferencesPresentation slidesContributedpeer-review


The Courier, Express and Parcel (CEP) sector in Germany has a volume of 4 billion consignments per year and is expected to increase further. These
developments affect cities through increasing negative impacts of CEP traffic on infrastructures and inhabitants. Urban consolidation centres (UCC) are used to increase efficiency on the last mile, to reduce these negative impacts and to enable
neighbourhood-based logistics. Identifying the most suitable UCC location in
urban areas while considering the stakeholder objectives requires further research.
In this research, we investigate the problem of facility location problems for UCCs.
We use a two-step approach by combining agent-based modelling (ABM) [2] with a mathematical optimization (MO) formulation for facility location problem. In this approach, ABM allows to accurately replicate the behaviour of the freight carrier in route choice, traffic assignment and location selection. Also, we model the interaction with other road users and the impact of freight policies on location selection. The MO model determines the ideal location taking into account the main objectives of the urban logistics stakeholders. including minimising last mile costs for carriers or minimising environmental impacts from the perspective of authorities or residents.
We demonstrate the model performance on a delivery district in Berlin and carry
out a sensitivity analysis by varying the carrier behaviour in location choice and
introducing freight policies such as road pricing. We use Open Street Map data
for the buildings and the road network and. Open data from the German Federal
Association of Parcel and Express Logistics is used to generate freight flows.
The model enables to find the optimal location for UCCs considering the behaviour of freight carriers, the urban form of the delivery area, land availability and the impact on stakeholders of urban logistics.


Original languageGerman
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023