The organization of the urban logistics sector is faced with increasingly restrictive environmental and economic policies.

Expert opinion

Delphine JANICOT, Director of Communications, URBY
Published on:
Updated on:

Indeed, the rise of e-commerce is shaking up the codes: fluidity of online purchases, compression of delivery times, increasing productivity of circuits, etc.


With growth of 5%/year, urban logistics will accelerate significantly in the years to come. Every day, 1 in 10 people receive a package.

The top ten cities in France are on average 4.4 times denser than other large cities and their congestion rate is higher than 30%.

Because “last mile” delivery is the most expensive (20 % of the total cost of the chain) and carriers are increasingly reluctant to deliver to city centers, other economic and ecological alternatives must be invented. On a national scale, it accounts for around 20 % of traffic, occupies 30 % of roads and is the source of 25 % of greenhouse gas emissions, according to figures published by the Analysis Committee Strategic.

Increasingly stringent demands from users are forcing companies and urban areas to redesign the distribution scheme for the last mile of the parcel's journey.

But the question is also economic: the “last mile” market is worth 1.5 billion euros, growing by 63 % over the last five years (Les Échos Études, 2019).  For operators, this logistics represents approximately 30 % of the total cost of transporting a good or a service.

Furthermore, it is subject to strong demands from consumers: seven out of ten online shoppers consider delivery to be the most important element of their purchase. However, 64% of them say they have had problems, particularly with delays. And almost three quarters would like to be offered an eco-responsible delivery system, according to an Ifop study. As a result, in recent years, the streets of metropolises have seen the deployment of fleets of new, lighter, more ecological vehicles, but capable of transporting significant weights, like electrically assisted cargo bikes.

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Mutualisation of flows: what are the advantages? 

  • Turnover, traffic jams and last mile: If we take into account the fact that traffic jams cause companies to lose billions each year, the last mile becomes a real lever for generating turnover. Last mile logistics optimization then makes it possible to reduce the number of miles traveled and therefore the time spent on the roads, which, ultimately, limits traffic jams.
  • Reduce logistics and transport costs : centralization and management of delivery flows at a single storage point.
  • Have better control of the carbon footprint : enhancement of the company's image in a CSR context.

Customer satisfaction is even more marked when it comes to respecting specific time slots. The fact of offering a flexible and rapid delivery offer is therefore obvious to respect the schedules of the final customer.

According to a Capgemini study, 48% of customers would refuse to call the distributor again in the event of a delivery problem. Conversely, 55% of consumers would appreciate benefiting from accelerated delivery in less than 2 hours. Finally, 82% of customers satisfied with their delivery do not hesitate to promote the merchandise distributor to those around them.

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