Seminar: Urban Logistics and Mobility - VVSOR - VVSOR

17 January 2024

Seminar: Urban Logistics and Mobility

Joint LNMB/NGB seminar

On January 17, 2024, the LNMB and NGB are organizing a one-day seminar on “Urban Logistics and Mobility”. The seminar will be held at Conference center Kontakt der Kontinenten in Soesterberg.

We can confirm the following speakers. Abstracts of the presentations can be found at the bottom of this page.

  • Claudia Archetti (ESSEC Business School, Paris)
  • Jan Fransoo (Tilburg University)
  • Shadi Sharif Azadeh (Delft University of Technology)
  • Niels Agatz (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Iris Vis (University of Groningen)
  • Hans Quak (TNO)
  • Jaap Hatenboer (University Medical Center Groningen)
  • Rik Nooij (Albert Heijn)

The full programme can be found here. You can register for the seminar here.

We provide an additional arrangement for MSc-students that are members of the NGB (membership is free for students; register here). Up to a maximum of twenty students can participate for a reduced rate of €50. If you want to register for the reduced rate, don’t use the link above, but send an e-mail to Deadline for registration is December 1, 2023.

Freight on Transit problem: Strategic, Tactical and Operational Planning 

The last-mile delivery is the most expensive part of the whole freight delivery process, in addition to being the most unsustainable one. The delivery system affects not only the shipping companies, but urban life as well. There are several stakeholders in the last-mile delivery system, either direct or indirect, who are impacted. The impact caused by vehicles performing deliveries associated with last-mile operations can be three-fold: economic, social and environmental. To keep up with the growing demands and resulting issues caused by e-commerce delivery systems, companies are looking towards innovative approaches that reduces the costs of social and environmental externalities.

In this work we consider a delivery system for last-mile deliveries in urban areas based on the use of Public Transport Service, i.e., that combines freight transportation with mass mobility systems. The idea is to use the residual capacity on public transport means for moving freights within the city. In particular, the system is such that parcels are first transported from origins to drop-in stations on public vehicles itineraries. Then, they are transported through public vehicles to drop-out stations, from where they are delivered to destination by freighters using green vehicles. The system is known as Freight-On-Transit (FOT). We present optimization problems related with strategic, tactical and operational decision levels, together with proposed solution methodologies and simulations on synthetic data.


Claudia Archetti is Full Professor of Operations Research at the ESSEC Business School in France. She is also Associate Dean of Chairs at ESSEC. Prior to joining ESSEC in 2019, she was appointed at the University of Brescia as Assistant Professor in 2005 and as Associate Professor in 2014.

Her research interests include models and algorithms for vehicle routing problems; mixed integer mathematical programming models for the minimization of the sum of inventory and transportation costs in logistic networks; exact and heuristic algorithms for supply-chain management; reoptimization of combinatorial optimization problems.

She is author of more than 90 papers in international journals. She was EURO VIP 3, in charge on piblications and communication. She was Area Editor of Computers and Operations Research. She is co-Editor in Chief of Networks and member of the Editorial Board of European Journal of Operational Research and EURO Journal on Computational Optimization.

Parking for delivery: Quantifying, modeling, and improving urban logistics

Operations Research has had wide impact on the routing of vehicles. Advanced models and sophisticated computational algorithms have been deployed in many practical applications. Also for urban logistics, the main emphasis of OR research in transportation has been on routing algorithms aimed at minimizing travel time.

However, empirical research demonstrates that in dense urban environments with fragmented deliveries, vehicles tend to be much more bothered by the difficulty of the delivery itself, than moving between deliveries: parking space is scarce and inconvenient, delivery addresses may be hard to find, and actual delivery times are highly uncertain.

In this presentation, I will present my empirical findings from urban logistics work in Latin America, demonstrate the enormous societal and economic benefits of having more dedicated space for freight delivery, and present a simple analytical framework to develop urban planning insights. Further, I will conjecture that a novel way of modeling routing problems is required that takes this view on reality into account.


Jan Fransoo is Professor of Operations and Logistics Management in de Department of Information Systems & Operations Management at Tilburg University, and holds courtesy affiliations with Eindhoven University of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Tilburg, Fransoo was on the faculty at Kuehne Logistics University and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Fransoo has over 30 years of experience in conducting research in operations and supply chain management, making use of a wide variety of analytical, quantitative, and qualitative methods. His research is widely published in and cited by high-impact academic journals, and in several of his (edited) books, notably “Sustainable Supply Chain Management”, “Reaching 50 Million Nanostores”, and “Behavioral Operations in Planning and Scheduling. His current research interests focus on retail and pharmaceutical distribution in developing markets, and on the role of humans in AI-enhanced decision making.

Apart from his academic research, Fransoo has extensive university leadership experience, has lead large scale research projects, programs, and institutes, and consulted and partnered with many companies, national governments, and intergovernmental organizations.

Fransoo holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Operations Management from Eindhoven University of Technology.

How to make micro-delivery services more efficient?

Microdelivery services are promising solutions for on-demand city logistics. To promote these sustainable tools of instant delivery services, their delivery planning needs to be more efficient. To improve delivery efficiency, on-demand meal delivery platforms seek to optimize real-time management of their courier resources based on anticipatory insights into demand distributions within the city. Accurate and realtime demand models are essential to these systems’ efficiency. Display optimization, downranking of restaurants in the shortage of couriers, behavioral models for both riders and consumers, routing suggestions while keeping the bike lanes safe are few of the challenges these services need to cope with. SINERGI project is dedicated to tackle different aspects of this multi-dimensional and multi-stakeholder problem. In this presentation, this project and some of its outcomes will be shared.


Shadi Sharif Azadeh is an associate professor at Civil Engineering and Geosciences faculty and the co-director of SUM (Sustainable Urban Multi-modal Mobility) lab at TU Delft in the department of Transport & Planning. Previously, she worked as an assistant professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Econometrics department (Operations Research and Logistics group) for four years. She holds a PhD in Mathematics (operations research) from Polytechnique Montreal where she received doctorate excellency award at University of Montreal (CIRRELT) as well as Michael Florian Award for best PhD thesis research award in Canada.

Her areas of expertise include integration of operations research with behavioural models for transport, mobility and logistics networks (Choice Driven Optimization). More precisely, her current major projects are related to i) developing methods to tackle uncertainty with a special focus on forecasting and scenario generation for passenger mobility and parcel delivery, ii) combining pricing and assortment optimisation methods to model supply and demand interplay for last mile delivery and urban mobility systems iii) developing real-time methods to incorporate in combinatorial optimisation models for large-scale transport problems iv) special focus on designing sustainable multi-modal transport systems v) introducing solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change on transport networks.

She is an associate editor of Transportation Science journal,editorial board editor at Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, editorial board member of Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies and associate editor of Nature Series (npj) Sustainable Mobility and Transport journal. She has served as guest editor of three special issues at Transportation Science (2021-2023), EURO Journal of Transport and Logistics (2021-203) and OR Spectrum (2023).

Currently, she is the PI of SINERGI (Sustainable Innovative digitalized NEtwork of uRban loGIstics) project funded by JPI-ERANET focused on micro-delivery for city logistics. She is acting coordination team member of the Horizon Europe project called Seamless Shared Urban Mobility (SUM) that aims at transforming the current mobility networks towards innovative and novel shared mobility systems (NSM) integrated with public transport (PT) in more than 15 European Cities by 2026 reaching 30 by 2030.  She is receipent of a direct funding from Rijkswaterstaat dedicated to mitigate the impacts of climate change on transport network.  She serves in the coordination team of the NWO Perspectief funded project called  XCARCITY that aims to develop realistic digital replicas of car-low areas in Amsterdam, Almere and Rotterdam.  She holds the same role in metaCCAZE (HE project) and V2G QUESTS(Driving Urban Transitions) projects that have been granted in August 2023.

National Knowledge Agenda for Impactful Future Research in Supply Chain and Logistics

TKI Dinalog and the Top Sector Logistics have developed the National Knowledge Agenda for Logistics in cooperation with representatives of knowledge institutions, companies, and policy makers. Logistics is a highly relevant economic sector. Next to that, the logistics plays a key enabling role in major societal transitions such as the circular economy and energy transition. The knowledge agenda has been developed in conjunction with the new implementation program of the Top Sector Logistics and the missions as formulated in the Mission-Driven Top Sectors and Innovation Policy. The purpose of this new knowledge agenda is to guide transdisciplinary research (calls) in the coming years. In this presentation, we will introduce the Knowledge Agenda, show some examples of new interdisciplinary research questions, and discuss different programs and projects within the Topsector ecosystem.  We will specifically highlight some projects in urban logistics.


Iris Vis is Professor of Industrial Engineering at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen. Next to that, she is Captain of Science of the Topsector Logistics and member of the Committee “Sectorplan Science & Engineering”. From 2016-2021 she was as Dean of Industry Relations university-wide responsible for initiating, building and maintaining long-term cooperation with external partners (companies, non-profit organizations and governmental organizations). The common goal in her research projects is to design and improve processes by combining quantitative and qualitative methods. The projects are characterized by the development of practically relevant concepts within a variety of themes at the crossover of logistics with other sectors. Examples include the design and optimization of sustainable transportation and port networks and logistics processes in, for example, container terminals, libraries and schools. She was project leader in the NWO project “Towards virtual ports in a physical internet” and the TKI Dinalog project “Design of LNG networks”.

Niels Agatz is Professor of Last-mile Supply Chain Analytics at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, and Scientific Director of TKI Dinalog. His work focuses on improving last-mile supply chains through analytics, with an emphasis on technology and sustainability in urban logistics, shared mobility, and online retailing. Bridging academia and industry, he often collaborates with business stakeholders. His work has been published in leading academic journals and has been recognized by grants and awards, including the NWO Rubicon Grant and the INFORMS TSL Stella Dafermos Achievement Award. With an academic background in industrial engineering, he teaches courses on distribution networks, management science, and decision making.

Developments influencing city logistics and their impact on neighborhoods

The urban logistics system in the Netherlands faces serious challenges in the near future, among others: zero-emission zones in city centers (from 2025) and competition for urban space. This presentation discusses the developments influencing city logistics for the coming years, through new opportunities, such as electrification of the fleets and the challenges for charging fleets, the integration of route- and charging planning) and the use of light (electric) freight vehicles in the light of the expected and announced policies. Next, this presentation discusses the impacts of these developments for different type of neighborhoods based on the classification of the urban logistics system in six main segments. We identify how the expected developments can shape urban logistics in the coming years for these main segments and what the main perspective for actions are for local authorities, logistics players and receivers.


H.J. (Hans) Quak is ‘lector’ (professor of applied sciences) @ BUas (Breda University of Applied Sciences) on Smart Cities and Logistics. Besides, he has been working at TNO from 2007 on, currently as senior scientist in the Sustainable Transport and Logistics group. Hans especially focuses on logistics in urban areas, sustainable transport and logistics, innovations in logistics, and last mile distribution in several applied research projects, such as TRANSENERGY (on developing zero emission construction sites) and CILOLAB (on how and to what extent a ‘cityport’ can contribute to further enabling sustainable urban logistics in practice). Hans is also member of the steering group Cities in the Topsector Logistiek.

Medical Drone Services

Urban Air Mobility is expected to become a reality in Europe within 3-5 years. New technologies such as electric propulsion and enhanced battery capacity, applied to vertical take-off and landing systems, make this possible.

The first commercial operations are expected to be the delivery of goods by drones and the transport of passengers, initially with a pilot on board. Later remote piloting or even autonomous services could follow.

Several pilot projects are under way and some European manufacturers have already applied for certification, including for piloted vehicles for passenger transport. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is working with them on the airworthiness of the vehicles.

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) adds additional transportation options for the healthcare system. UAM use cases for the sector can be structured into 4 generic use cases based on the type of aircraft and type of route.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for UAM integration due to local characteristics in terms of geography, existing healthcare system and political priorities. The integration process can be described by a framework with three distinct phases: ‘explore’, ‘analyse’ and ‘implement’.

Especially during the analysis phase simulation tools may be used to objectively understand and measure  the value of an UAM services for the healthcare system. Qualitative tools like SWOT analysis, business canvas and flowchart diagrams are also very useful especially when discussing the value proposition.

The ‘implement’ phase recommends a phased integration process from small-scale demonstrations to regular operation in order to enable a learning curve and to keep the overall risk manageable.


Jaap Hatenboer is Innovation Advisor at the Ambulance Service of the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG). Before joining the ambulance service Jaap served as a technical officer in the Royal Netherlands Air Force supporting fixed wing and helicopter operations.

At UMCG Ambulance Service he was involved in the introduction of the first ambulance /  patient transport  helicopter in the Netherlands. Other areas of interest are sustainability, the transition to zero emission vehicles and  innovations in mobile communication.

At present Jaap is supporting the national zero emission ambulance roadmap and he is involved in the introduction of (piloted) ambulance eVTOLs and (uncrewed) medical cargo drones.

Jaap is known for using quotes in his presentations, like “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” (Benjamin Franklin) or “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards” (Søren Kierkegaard).