Digital Twins for Urban Logistics: LEAD Policy Recommendations launched

Urban logistics are facing increasing challenges due to rising consumer demand and the growth of online shopping. Digital Twins offer a solution by enabling decision-makers to create a virtual model of logistics operations, helping to address these challenges. LEAD has unveiled a comprehensive set of policy recommendations to explore the potential of Digital Twins (DTs) and revolutionise urban logistics.

The LEAD project created Digital Twins of urban logistics networks in six cities - Madrid, The Hague, Lyon, Budapest, Oslo, and Porto - to support experimentation and decision-making with on-demand logistics operations in a public-private urban setting.

Following the project’s conclusion, the LEAD Policy Recommendations are now published, to guide local authorities and EU services to explore the power of Digital Twins to optimise urban logistics and address the growing challenges faced by urban centres worldwide. Digital Twins have the potential to transform how cities plan and manage their logistics operations, leading to more efficient, sustainable, and data-informed urban logistics systems.

Some of the key messages from the LEAD Policy Recommendations are:

  1. Untapped Potential: Digital Twins can transform urban logistics by allowing decision-makers to simulate and test diverse scenarios, reducing costs and risks associated with real-world implementation.
  2. Implementation Challenges: Implementing Digital Twins can be complex and costly, requiring trained professionals. Scalability and data sharing between cities and administrations are ongoing challenges.
  3. Local authorities can access a new world of urban logistics planning: Cities are urged to embrace digitalisation, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and invest in training. Adopting a holistic approach, ensuring data quality, data sharing protocols, and open data standards, will go a long way in developing Digital Twins for urban logistics.
  4. The future is bright: EU institutions should build upon the outcomes of LEAD and its follow-up projects, using open datasets and open-source software, allocating funding for research, and liaising with Living-in.EU, increasing awareness, facilitating the development of standards and protocols, and creating supportive regulations.

The recommendations also highlight the benefits of the LEAD Platform – yet another project output -namely, impact assessment, city logistics strategy evaluation, and data-driven decision-making. It empowers cities to optimise routes, reduce congestion, and lower environmental impact.

All in all, the LEAD policy recommendations represent a significant step towards fully unlocking the potential of Digital Twins in urban logistics planning. As cities continue to grapple with the complexities of urban logistics, DTs offer a promising solution to improve efficiency and sustainability. By adopting these recommendations, local authorities and EU services can pave the way for a future of smarter, data-driven urban logistics that benefits both the public and private sectors.

Want to learn more?

You can read the full LEAD Policy Recommendations brochure here.

For more information, contact Raffaele Vergnani or Cláudia Ribeiro.