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Countering urban freight congestion and “last mile” delivery issues with the GS1 Smart Urban Transport Pilot

Funded by the European Union, the Straightsol project, which ran from 2011 to 2014, was comprised of seven innovative urban freight pilots to explore more efficient ways to transport goods while benefiting society and the environment. One pilot focused specifically on last mile delivery. Project management was provided by the Institute of Transport Economics—Norway Centre for Transport Research

Transport and Logistics


  • Better last mile supply chain visibility via more efficient logistics.
  • Fewer vans/lorries to the same destination and reduced transport costs.
  • Reduced number of truck-kilometres and energy consumption per delivered item, decreasing CO2 emissions.
  • Reduced and more reliable delivery times; less out-of stocks in store.
  • Savings in delivery costs—GS1 standards have been shown to reduce distribution costs by 42%.


As e-commerce continues to grow exponentially, the last leg of delivery, specifically the “last mile”—ending up at the consumer’s home or business—has become more challenging.

The increased amount of urban home delivery has a huge economic impact on citizens, shopkeepers, transport companies and government. It causes emissions, traffic congestion, noise nuisance, and problems with public space and services.

The Straightsol project designed seven pilots aimed to identify innovative ways to rationalise urban distribution.

Countering urban freight congestion and “last mile” delivery issues with the GS1 Smart Urban Transport Pilot


One pilot, GS1 Smart Urban Transport, was designed to find ways to improve efficiency in retail trade supply chain management and “last mile” distribution via the use of standardised information collected from all business partners.

For all kinds of e-commerce businesses, knowing precisely where an item is in the supply chain can enable faster and more efficient delivery to the customer, lower fulfilment costs and enhanced customer service levels. For example, with greater visibility retailers in the same shopping centre can logistically collaborate on deliveries.

GS1 standards were leveraged to accurately identify products, assign a universal, global identification number to every product and enable the automated exchange of data between business partners.

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