Global urbanization: a major challenge for logistics
First online: 19.02.2013
Cite this article as: Bretzke, WR. Logist. Res. (2013) 6: 57. doi:10.1007/s12159-013-0101-9
By 2050, 70 % of the world’s population, that is, about 6.3 billion people, will live in the world’s major urban areas. At the forefront of the urbanization trend, we see the development of so-called “megacities” which, by definition, have a population exceeding 10 million inhabitants. Traffic congestion is frequently reported to be a megacity’s most pressing infrastructural problem, even outranking issues related to power and water supply as well as health and safety. Freight traffic is one of the drivers of the infrastructure overload, and at the same time, it is one of its victims. The costs incurred as a result of traffic jams are higher in the congestion of major cities than anywhere else. On the other hand, cities in their most basic state do not have comprehensive logistics systems. The question addressed in this article is whether the concept of “city logistics,” which has experienced its first major boom in Germany and some of its neighboring countries, during the mid 1990s, can help to ease this problem—especially if—in contrast to the pilot projects of the 1990s—external effects (reduced pollution, improved mobility, etc.) and opportunity costs (the equivalent of time lost by a large number of people and vehicles trapped in congested roads every day) were included in the list of arguments.
Global urbanization Intra-urban freight traffic City logistics External effects Urban retail Cooperation