City logistics: A chaos between research and policy making? A review

J.H.R. Van Duin, H.J. Quak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Although the interest in urban freight transport is growing, it is commonly seen as an area in which there is, for several reasons, a lack of research, especially if you compare it with the amount of research that deals with passenger transport. The attention of governments especially for urban goods movement has increased over recent years and with that the number of studies in the urban goods movement field. However, the practice of city logistics policies is not very often the result of detailed analyses and evaluations. This is reflected in similar types of regulations repeated through the different cities regardless of their characteristics, the same schedules for time windows and load zones, and the failure to recognise different types of urban distribution which require different types of regulations. Apart from copying regulation frameworks, however, cities hardly share information, knowledge or cooperation. The lack of national or regional bodies dealing with city logistics, as there exist for urban passenger traffic, is significant. In this paper we will address the main research contributions in city logistics and try to illustrate how the research contributions are (not) related to the daily practice of policymaking and town planning. Finally we will end with the conclusion that a real gap exists between research and practice and provide some explanations, conditions and directions for setting up new research projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalWIT Transactions on The Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • City logistics
  • Policy
  • Research
  • Urban freight transport
  • Distribution of goods
  • Engineering research
  • Freight transportation
  • Information analysis
  • Passenger transports
  • Urban planning
  • conference proceeding
  • freight transport
  • policy making
  • town planning
  • urban area
  • urban transport


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