Hive.Mobility partners obtain subsidy for urban logistics innovation project

Hive.Mobility partners municipality of Groningen, the University of Groningen and OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe, together with Dropper and numerous international partners, have secured a subsidy from the EU for the ULaaDS (Urban Logistics As An on-Demand Service) project.

On-demand urban logistics

ULaaDS is funded from the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission, which aims to promote employment, growth and innovation. The project will start in September 2020 and is aimed at future urban logistics.

The quality of life in cities is under pressure due to ever-increasing freight traffic. At the municipality of Groningen, we are developing a vision for our city logistics in 2025. Innovation is indispensable in this regard. ULaaDS helps us to embed this in policy“, says Sjouke van der Vlugt of the municipality of Groningen.

An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Groningen is involved, that looks at the issue from different angles. For example, Paul Buijs (Assistant Professor in the Operations department) states: “we are only at the start of a major transition. The way in which goods enter and leave the city will have to change drastically in the coming years to meet all sustainability ambitions. City logistics will be even more about on-demand delivery. I want to know how logistics companies and retailers can organize this together in a smart way.

The way in which goods enter and leave the city will have to change drastically in the coming years

As a spatial planner, Assistant Professor Ward Rauws is mainly looking for how governments can guide the transition: “Technologically a lot is possible, but how will that work out for the city and its residents? Do we want delivery vans on the streets 24/7? I will investigate how governments can safeguard public interests while also leaving room for innovations that we cannot yet imagine.


Groningen is, in addition to Mechelen and Bremen, a pilot city and is conducting two pilots that will start around September 2021.

1. Setting up a sharing platform for cargo bikes and light electric freight vehicles.

2. Adding logistics (e.g. parcel lockers) to the transport hubs, Travel via Hub – of the OV-bureau.

Thijs Davids of Dropper: “Consumers are ordering more and more online and expect their orders to be delivered quickly and easily. At the same time, more and more cities are working on a Zero-Emission policy. This is putting urban logistics under pressure. Together we are looking for new concrete solutions.

For more information about this project, click here.