WIT Press

Towards sustainable urban logistics: the evolution of digital marketplace


Free (open access)


Volume 2 (2018), Issue 1



Page Range

71 - 83

Paper DOI



WIT Press


I. Giordani, F. Archetti D. Djordjevic, R. Sormani


Many existing industrial solutions for transportation services assume tightly controlled optimization scenarios where the price does not take a centre role, yet these models heavily rely on long-term business relationships between shippers and carriers. a number of solutions have been proposed for auction-based marketplaces with market-clearing property models, where supply and demand dictate the price and through innovation and improve transparency and efficiency. The overall objectives of these efforts are aimed at finding a balance that assures maximizing capital efficiency, maximizing customer satisfaction and minimizing logistical complexity, hence maximizing scalability. Some uber- like experiences have recently emerged, introducing fresh perspectives and putting back the spotlight on the potential of digital markets in transportation industry.

In this article, we take a look at how the ideas of digital marketplaces have evolved over time and specifically consider how the lessons learned can be applied in last-mile urban logistics. We also present a prototype marketplace for urban city logistics and draw initial conclusions.


auctions in freight, digital marketplace, last-mile urban logistics, multi-attribute auctions