NEWS - 2024/02/14

Nimble Kicked Off, Aiming to Redefine the Distribution of Goods for Small Businesses

NIMBLE’s kick-off took place on Wednesday 24th January. CARNET leads the initiative in a consortium with Smart Point as a commercial partner, Eurecat Foundation, the City Council of Esplugues de Llobregat and the City Council of Braga. This project is supported by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

CARNET brings leading expertise by managing and supervising global activity, forecasting the impact of the innovative solution, supervising the piloting demonstrations, and ensuring open communication and dissemination.

NIMBLE emerges in a context where traditional logistics practices for small shops are based on diesel vans or light trucks travelling long distances from wholesalers to retailers’ doorsteps. This model, which involves daily delivery in medium-sized boxes due to limited storage space, is neither efficient nor sustainable. Urban freight distribution currently accounts for 10-15% of the vehicle fleet and is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions and up to 50% of other pollutants, according to ERTRAC and ALICE. These alarming congestion and pollution levels pose significant risks to citizens and are increasingly critical aspects of modern logistics models.

This groundbreaking project aims to redefine the urban distribution of goods by introducing a new locker-centric model that addresses congestion, pollution, and inefficiencies in logistics systems while promoting environmental sustainability, increasing the economic viability of small businesses, and improving the overall quality of life in cities.

The innovative approach makes its space in highly dense cities defining a new model of urban distribution of goods centred on three key pillars:

      • Consolidating first-mile distribution to logistics stations within cities overnight ensuring optimised and timely delivery.
      • Improving the operation of logistics stations by equipping them with smart parcel lockers or by creating street-side micro-hubs.
      • Implementing a last-mile distribution model for small businesses using sustainable light-duty vehicles ensuring a favourable user experience for small businesses.

To prove the solution’s viability and scalability, two pilot demonstrations will take place in Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain) and Braga (Portugal). These pilots will aim to provide valuable insights into the feasibility, functionality, and effectiveness of the proposed logistics distribution model and smart lockers, considering specific local conditions.