Reducing the Environmental Impact of Urban Parcel Distribution

  • Theodoros Athanassopoulos
  • Kerstin Dobers
  • Uwe Clausen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Logistics book series (LNLO)


In the framework of rising requirements concerning the environmental impact of urban parcel delivery, UPS has tested various approaches to reduce emissions with steady or even enhanced operational efficiency. Three different alternatives to classic diesel drive technology were tested in the city of Hamburg, i.e. parcel vehicles with electric drive, and e-assisted cargo tricycles either solely or in combination with a parcel storage container. The corresponding costs, greenhouse gas, SO2, NOx, CO and particulate matter emissions have been assessed and discussed. The analyses show that none of the isolated pilot tests result in overall reduced costs and emissions; however they need to be evaluated thoroughly. Clear advantages of the alternatives are outlined and their embedding in the overall UPS urban network in combination with an increased purchase of renewable energy promise a future reduction of costs and the environmental impact of UPS’ urban parcel distribution.


Carbon footprint Distribution Emission Green Logistics 



The detailed examinations have been performed in the frame of the research project “Green Logistics” (Green Logistics 2015) and its case study “ecoPlan”. The project is part of the LogistikRuhr efficiency cluster (EffizienzCluster LogistikRuhr 2015), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Funding code 01IC10L06).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodoros Athanassopoulos
    • 1
  • Kerstin Dobers
    • 2
  • Uwe Clausen
    • 2
  1. 1.United Parcel Service Deutschland Inc. & Co OHGFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and LogisticsDortmundGermany

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