eCommerce Enabled Demand Responsive Urban Logistics


The eDRUL pilot project investigated, developed and validated an e-Logistics architecture – and supported service models – for improved management of freight distribution and logistics processes in urban areas.

eDRUL considered interactions between logistics processes and the e-Commerce/e-Business context, proposing and experimenting with a number of web-based services to improve operations of different Logistics Service Providers (B2B services) and the interactions among the citizens and the urban delivery system (B2C services).

Trial studies of eDRUL solutions were planned and realized in Siena (Italy), Aalborg (Denmark), Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and Lisbon (Portugal).

In the last decades major efforts have been carried out by European cities to face traffic flow congestion and the related energy consumption and noise levels in urban areas.

Specifically, limitations to traffic circulation and mitigation of adverse traffic effects in city centres have become common practice based on specific mobility schemes (Park & Ride, public transport accessibility, traffic light co-ordination, etc.) innovative transit vehicles and fuels (friendly and safety characteristics, CNG, LPG, hybrid, electrical, etc.) and technological infrastructures (access gates, variable message signs, traffic lights, etc).

Equal effort and attention has not been paid to the urban goods distribution process which is, together with private traffic flows, one of the major sources of energy consumption, noxious gas emissions and noise levels, resulting in the well known negative impacts on life and the environmental quality of our cities.

All of this is likely to increase in the near future due to the growth of e-Commerce services and the increased capabilities of citizens to interact with the commercial and logistics chain through distance selling services such as virtual shopping malls, e-catalogues, etc.

The eDRUL pilot project aimed at investigating the relationships between e-Commerce and logistics and to develop an e-Logistics platform allowing flexible management of city freight distribution processes. Specifically, project goals included:

The design and development of a novel IT architecture and platform, including planning and management tools, to allow flexible and intelligent management of logistic processes in a multi-fleet, multi-operator context, as well as the overall coordination of freight distribution processes (City Logistics Agency)

The integration of the urban logistics system with other ITS urban mobility management services (traffic information, parking management, access control, …) in view of a coordinated management of urban mobility and overall sustainability of urban processes.

The application, testing and validating of the developed generic solutions at different levels in four urban sites with the different sizes and characteristics of the areas and well defined mobility policies and transport infrastructures.

A comparative assessment of the different impacts of new technologies and services by means of a common evaluation methodology. Hence, it will be possible to evaluate the suitability of the various IST elements and components, assessing their transferability and investigating the business case and market potential of the developed technologies and devices.

Siena Parcheggi S.p.A. (IT)

City of Aalborg (DK)

Platform Stedelijke Distributie (NL)

Softeco Sismat S.p.A. (IT)

Intarsys GmbH (DE)

Mobisoft Oy (FI)

Ecorys NEI (NL)

Memex srl (IT)

TIS.pt (PT)

The concept of the City Logistics Agency was central to eDRUL as it operates in a multi Logistics Service Providers context and provided a reference infrastructure – both technological and organizational – taking care of the planning, management and coordination of city distribution services.

Based on web technologies, the eDRUL system included a number of services to support the different workflows of urban goods distribution, enabling:

  • integration of different actors of the city logistic chain through a multi-service, web-based B2B service infrastructure, supporting inter-networking and collaboration of the different actors of the logistics chain (goods delivery operators, transhipment and logistics platform operators, retail operators, …) and dynamic cooperation in a “virtual logistics enterprise” approach;
  • operation of a B2C service infrastructure, enabling easy interfacing and the interaction between the consumers and the goods retail/distribution system;
  • the management and operation of available resources of the logistics system (fleets and available capacity, logistics platforms, goods collection and unloading areas, routes, etc.) in a way to realise flexible, demand-driven freight distribution schemes integrated within the ITS urban scenario
  • the interaction with other ITS systems – such as access control, traffic management systems, etc. – providing mobility management in the area

Validation of eDRUL solutions were planned in four European sites: Siena (Italy), Aalborg (Denmark), Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and Lisbon (Portugal).

Based on specific site requirements and infrastructures (urban areas at different degrees of advancement/maturation with respect to their urban e-logistic solutions were selected), validation took different forms, from full demonstration to application and "show case" development.

Marco Boero

Loris Vosilla

Know how - Mobility


EC Programme
DG-INFSO, Information Society technologies (IST), Key Action I "Systems and Services for Citizens”

Grant agreement
N° 34241

Start date
April 2002

30 months

Siena Parcheggi S.p.A. (IT)


eDRUL project flyer (EN)