Urban Freight Lab

A Strategic Public-Private Research Partnership

The Urban Freight Lab (UFL), housed at the Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center at the University of Washington, is an innovative partnership bringing together private industry, academic researchers, and public transportation agencies to solve urban freight management problems that overlap private and public spaces and have wide-ranging benefits.

Urban Freight Lab researchers and members walk through a pilot test location
in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood. Photo by Urban Freight Lab.

A Living Laboratory

The UFL is a structured work group comprised industry members and the
City of Seattle Department of Transportation. Photo by Urban Freight Lab.

The UFL works to develop high-impact, low-cost solutions for businesses delivering goods in urban settings and cities trying to manage limited curb and parking space where delivery trucks, bicycles, pedestrians, and cars all need to coexist. To achieve its goals the Lab collects original, granular urban goods system data as well as existent data, conducts analyses, develops promising strategies, and pilot tests those strategies on the street and in urban buildings.

We adhere to four principles when designing methodologies. To be widely used, data collection must be replicable, available at a reasonable cost, groundtruthed, and have quality control measures built into each step.

Bringing Together Stakeholders Representing Both Public and Private Aspects of Urban Delivery

The UFL is a structured work group comprised of industry members, who are senior executives from retail and wholesale companies, logistics and goods delivery firms, and the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Lab members act to improve the management of both public and private operations of urban goods delivery systems by engaging in strategic applied research and identifying priority problems for future research projects. 

Our Impact: This work is having a real impact here in Seattle and beyond. Here's how.

The Final 50 Feet Research Program

Since our launch in October 2016, the UFL has completed an innovative suite of research projects in the Final 50 Feet Research Program that provide foundational data and proven strategies to help cities reduce truck dwell times in load/unload spaces, and failed first delivery attempts by carriers, which lessens gridlock.

Our Impact

How we work
Read our research publications
Media recognition of the Urban Freight Lab
Learn about our current research
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