Joint press release by the German Environment Agency and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

First national competition for sustainable urban logistics

Lieferwagen in der StadtClick to enlarge
Environmentally friendly delivery service strategies help reduce air pollution and noise
Source: m.mphoto /

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze presented awards today to the winning projects of the National Sustainable Urban Logistics Competition which the Federal Ministry for Environment launched together with the German Environment Agency. It was the first round of the competition, which distinguishes innovative logistics strategies that foster environmentally and climate-friendly transport in urban areas. The winners are the city of Heidelberg, DACHSER SE company, Nuremberg Tech, and Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML, which was also awarded a special prize for its particularly visionary project.

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said: "Urban logistics are vitally important for the people and businesses in our cities. The strong growth in delivery services and the traffic it incurs must not diminish the quality of life in our cities. This competition aims to generate solutions for more environmentally and climate-friendly urban logistics. The many projects submitted show some interesting approaches which will ultimately help to transform traffic in our cities."

President Maria Krautzberger of the German Environment Agency said: "Many of the ideas and concepts – and not only the winners' – can help to cut pollution and noise in our cities. Environmentally friendly strategies for delivery services can not only improve the quality of life for urban dwellers but also promote health and innovation. The time has come for these sustainable logistics concepts to be introduced on a large scale in our cities."

The reason for the competition is the growth in delivery traffic, which is due not least of all to the continued growth of online commerce. Transport increases pollution, with nearly one fifth of inner-city, traffic-related NO2 emissions generated by commercial vehicles which provide delivery services to residents, shops and businesses. Noise and greenhouse gas emissions add to the pollution load. Innovative logistics concepts can help to tackle these challenges and ensure more protection of the environment, climate and health in cities.

A total of 76 projects entered the competition. The winners were selected in an expert review process by a seven-member jury from the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The prize money per project is 16,000 euros and 6,000 euros is awarded as a special prize. The German Environment Agency has been involved in the planning and organization of the competition from the very start.

The winning projects and the special prize:

  • Low-noise nocturnal logistics (GeNaLog) – Quiet logistics services for urban areas via e-mobility, Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
    The use of electric trucks for goods deliveries cut down on noise and emissions by spreading delivery times over the whole day/night. Shorter delivery tours and noise-reducing optimization of vehicles can reduce noise emissions considerably. Day-time use of vehicles also mitigates overall emissions and allows vehicle fleets to be adjusted.
  • Intelligente City Logistik Altstadt, Office of Traffic Management, City of Heidelberg 
    The project links micro-depots with the use of electrified transport bikes and looks for a practicable solution for the ’last mile‘, taking into account the inclusion of CEP services, legal concerns and economic analyses. The city as such is an important driver and fulfils the important function of consolidating the coordination of CEP services.
  • Emission-free delivery of cargo shipments in Stuttgart, DACHSER SE
    A combination of electric trucks (up to 18 tonnes), cargo bikes and microhubs for emission-free delivery of shipments (palleted goods weighing 32 kg or more per palette) which cannot be transported with regular parcel services. All vehicles are electrified and trips are done by trainees.
  • Pilot project for sustainable urban logistics featuring CEP services based on the micro-depot concept, City of Nuremberg, Nuremberg Tech
    The pilot project used micro-depots and transport bikes for the distribution of parcels in the inner city. Micro-depots in centrally located containers were a distinctive feature. In addition to emissions reduction, economic efficiency was a key feature, where the use of transport bikes provided a real logistical alternative in parcel delivery operations.
  • Smart City Loop – Transport alternative for the “next-to-last mile“ in urban centres, Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML 
    Project received a special prize awarded for its visionary approach: shipments are sent underground through pipe channels. Goods are transported on carriers from city hubs on city outskirts to micro-depots in the inner city. The system can also be used in reverse: e.g. to deliver empties, return shipments and the like to the city outskirts.

For more information about the winning projects go to:

In early 2019 a brochure is due to be published introducing all the projects and concepts submitted to the competition. The brochure provides background information on the topic, including key trends and challenges in urban cargo transport. All projects are listed here


Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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 logistics  cargo shipment  urban areas