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Urban Freight Lab Launches Multi-National Partnership Aurora Freight

Urban Freight Lab Launches Multi-National Partnership Aurora Freight
Urban Freight Lab Launches Multi-National Partnership Aurora Freight
April 23, 2020   //   

APRIL 23, 2020—The Urban Freight Lab has received funding by the Valle Scholarship & Scandinavian Exchange Program to launch Aurora Freight, a multinational research collaboration with four leading urban freight research programs in the Northern latitudes.

The Aurora Freight partnership brings the following research institutions in the Northern latitudes, together with the Urban Freight Lab at the University of Washington: the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway; Freight Transportation and City Logistics Lab at SINTEF in Trondheim and Oslo, Norway; and the Urban Freight Platform at the University of Gothenburg and the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Research areas include: bicycles and freight, sustainable freight, urban consolidation centers, last mile delivery, freight in urban planning, and electric freight vehicles.

The goals of the collaboration are:

  • Knowledge Exchange: We aim to facilitate collaboration between Scandinavian and North American freight researchers through student exchanges, joint conferences, collaborative papers, and other mechanisms.
  • Cross-Cultural Insights: Through this collaborative work we will be able to understand the influences of cultural factors and local governance structures on urban freight performance and methods of improvement. Understanding these differences will aid researchers in developing context-sensitive solutions.
  • Scaling Urban Freight Research: One of the key challenges to urban freight research is conducting highly disaggregate work at scale.  International collaboration allows us to develop shared research methods and tools that can be applied in multiple contexts; allowing us to answer the questions of scalability and transferability.
  • Support Student Exchanges: Our success as a research collaboration will be enabled by cross-pollination of ideas and tools through student exchanges. The Valle program at the University of Washington provides a unique opportunity for student exchange between the University of Washington and Scandinavian countries. Through this program, Aurora Freight will provide an ongoing structure of research and advising on urban freight topics, allowing students to get involved in well-developed projects supported by deep personal connections amongst advising faculty and researchers.

Researchers involved include: Professors Ed McCormack and Anne Goodchild and Research Assistant Caleb Diehl at the University of Washington, Professor Kelly Pitera (UW CEE Ph.D. ’12) at NTNU, Senior Adviser Astrid Bjørgen at SINTEF, Professor Michael Browne and Senior Lecturer Ivan Sanchez-Diaz at the Urban Freight Platform.

The first meeting of Aurora Freight be held during the annual Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) Urban Freight conference in Sweden in March 2021.

Read more about the Urban Freight Lab:

About the Urban Freight Lab (UFL): An innovative public-private partnership housed at the Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center at the University of Washington, the Urban Freight Lab is a structured workgroup that brings together private industry with City transportation officials to design and test solutions around urban freight management. Since launching in December 2016, the UFL has completed an innovative suite of research projects on the Final 50 Feet of delivery, providing foundational data and proven strategies to help cities reduce truck dwell times in load/unload spaces, and failed first delivery attempts by carriers, which lowers congestion, emissions, and costs.