A new EU-funded project on urban freight just kicked-off: UNCHAIN!

The time has come: UNCHAIN is finally here! This newly funded project successfully kicked off last week in Brussels (Belgium), officially marking the start of a long yet exciting path to make urban freight more efficient and sustainable! 

Yes, you read it right: the UNCHAIN project (“Urban logistics and plaNning: AntiCipating urban freigHt generAtion and demand including dIgitalisation of urbaN freight”) successfully kicked off last week in Brussels, Belgium (10-11 May 2023).

For two consecutive days, the partners met, chatted, and discussed the way forward for this exciting project focused on fostering public-private data exchange and interoperability to make more efficient and sustainable urban deliveries.

Nowadays, almost everything we need can be ordered online and delivered to our doorsteps. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the demand for last-mile delivery is expected to grow 78% by 2030 and the number of delivery vehicles in the 100 largest cities is estimated to grow by 36% over the next decade.

To help achieve these ambitious goals, the UNCHAIN project aims to foster cooperation between public authorities and logistics stakeholders, by creating a set of services for optimal and flexible operation, management, planning and policy-making in urban logistics. This will harness the potential of technology and digitalisation for sustainable urban logistics, working towards climate-neutral and smart cities.

UNCHAIN will implement a standardised and reliable data exchange ecosystem, supported by a public-private cooperation framework that will enable reliable data exchange agreements, break data silos and make urban freight transport data more available and accessible.

Who is part of UNCHAINyou wonder?

Its consortium brings together the collaborative efforts of a total of 20 partners from 8 countries. From (of course) POLIS Network to the coordinator ETRA Investigacion y Desarrollo, EMT Madrid, University of Lancaster, Spes Consulting and many many more, the different partners are committed to making this project a sound success in the field, paving the way for concrete innovations and resolutions to improve urban freight!

Eleven European cities participate in UNCHAIN activities: Madrid, Berlin and Florence as living labs; Prague, Mechelen, Madeira and Tartu as follower cities, and Brest metropole, Ravenna, Riga and Alba Iulia as peer cities supporting the early adoption of the results. Also, the well-balanced representation of the urban logistics industry, with UPS, DHL, and CityDepot, will ensure the large-scale impact and feasibility of the project results.

Based on the unlocked data, an innovative set of 12 urban logistics services will be implemented to optimise urban space allocation, improve local governments' policy-making capacity and optimise network management and logistics operations. With UNCHAIN, governments will improve their data collection capacity and have the right tools to achieve sustainability goals.

UNCHAIN is a 9 million project funded by the Horizon Europe Programme, for a duration of 42 months (from May 2023 to October 2026).


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Zsofia Jakoi and Raffaele Vergnani.