Urban Freight Lab
The Urban Freight Lab brings transportation engineers and urban planners—who manage public space—together with retailers, freight carriers, technology companies supporting transportation logistics, and multifamily and commercial developers and operators.

Photo by Anna Bovbjerg Alligood:
SCTL Center Research Asst.,
University of Washington

With a total population of 725,000 and a density of 8,350 residents per square mile, Seattle is now the fourth most-congested city in the country. As we add new residents with appetites for near-instant gratification, how can businesses operating in urban environments like Seattle—with aggravating traffic and competition for street space—meet customer expectations for quick deliveries?

A Living Laboratory

The Urban Freight Lab (UFL) works to tackle that question and test new solutions in urban goods delivery. Our work investigates 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. We are comprised of retailers, technology companies, goods delivery firms, building owners and cities that need to manage urban street space for multiple uses, 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.

Since our launch in October 2016 media recognition of the Urban Freight Lab and presentation invitations continue to grow in the U.S. and internationally.