The Economic Considerations of a Sustainable City Logistics-based Business Model

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis


City logistics initiatives are often conceived as enablers to address the challenges related to the supply and disposal of goods in city centres. Several such city logistics initiatives have been tested to address these challenges. A majority of these initiatives have used urban consolidation centres to bundle deliveries within cities, and several of the initiatives include environmental zones, access restriction schemes, use of environmentally sound vehicles and non-road modes such as light rail systems for freight movement. Despite their potential, a large proportion of the city logistics initiatives have failed to become permanent. The lack of sustainable business models and the limitation of their components are barriers to implementing city logistics initiatives in the long run. The research consists of the findings of two studies presented in three appended papers. This constitutes the basis of the thesis. The first study is a literature and practice review that provides insights on the content of the components of a conceptual city logistics-based business model and on the components’ interrelations. The study also provides a graphical representation of such a model. The second study is a participant observation study that examines an actual initiative, SamCity, in Malmö, Sweden. It investigates the stakeholder groups involved in SamCity and the potential of obtaining an economically sustainable business model. The research contributes to the area of city logistics by specifically describing and explaining the components of a conceptual city logistics-based business model and their interrelations. The research takes the generic logistics business model of Osterwalder and Pigneur (2010) and adapts it to apply to city logistics. The research reports the changes/adaptions that were carried out to come up with a proposed city logistics-based business model and some of its components. The graphical representation of the model maps the components and allows one to see possible changes that may occur. The business model components and their interrelations can be seen as a starting point to broaden and unify the research for sustainable city logistics initiatives. Future research areas are proposed to extend and complement these findings.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics
  • Economics and Business
Original languageEnglish
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Place of PublicationLund Sweden
EditionLund University
Print ISBNs978-91-7753-644-4
Electronic ISBNs978-91-7753-643-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 28
Publication categoryResearch

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