Purpose and Goals
We are living at the convergence of the rise of e-commerce, ride-hailing services, connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies, and fast-growing cities. Customers want the goods delivery system to bring them whatever they want, where they want it, in one to two hours. At the same time, many cities are replacing goods delivery load/unload spaces with transit and bike lanes.

Our Goals

The UFL’s first task is pilot testing promising low-cost and high-value actions to optimize operations in the Final 50 Feet of the urban goods delivery system. The Final 50 Feet is defined as the supply chain segment that begins when trucks pull into a parking space and stop moving—in public load/unload spaces at the curb or in an alley, or in a building’s loading dock or internal freight bay. It tracks the delivery process inside buildings and ends where the customer takes receipt of their goods.

Our goals are:

Our two program goals are:
1. Reduce CO2 emissions (per package per hour). Reaching this goal has both environmental and economic benefits:
  • Reduce carbon footprint for retailers and logistics providers;
  • Lower costs for retailers and delivery firms, and therefore potentially lower costs for their customers;
  • Help cities reach their climate goals (the transportation sector is responsible for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions);
  • Improve air quality for city residents 
2. Increase curb efficiency for goods (specifically, increase the number of packages per meter of curb per hour). Reaching this goal will:
  • Help meet the increasing demand for urban deliveries;
  • Increase productivity of loading zones, and potentially reduce the required number of loading zones; 
  • Reduce cruising time for parking and unauthorized parking behavior among commercial vehicles;
  • Lower traffic congestion in cities;
  • Improve safety at the curb

Our Achievements

Since our October 2016 launch, the Lab has completed an innovative suite of research projects that provide foundational data and proven strategies. Our research program has:

Kelly Rula
Director of Policy and Partnerships, Urban Freight Lab

How we work
Read our research publications
Media recognition of the Urban Freight Lab
Learn about our current research
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About the Urban Freight Lab (UFL): An innovative public-private partnership housed at the Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center at the University of Washington, the Urban Freight Lab is a structured workgroup that brings together private industry with City transportation officials to design and test solutions around urban freight management.

About the Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center: The Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center at the University of Washington is the go-to place to analyze and solve urban goods delivery, sustainability, logistic hubs and ports, and freight system performance management problems that overlap private and public spaces and control. Our work integrates in-depth consultation with industry and the public sector, transformative research, and executive education, and serves the powerful nexus of industry, transportation infrastructure, and policymakers.