City logistics planning is based on as balanced a distribution of logistics systems as possible in accordance with the geographical position of the city and establishment of physical opportunities providing facilitated transmission among the transportation systems. The amount of freight mobility entering into the city or travelling to other cities and countries, the structure of local storage and distribution activities and future development potentials must be considered in midterm and long term.
City logistics planning, even if it is physical planning within urban planning, is based on revealing the requirements for success and evaluation of all dimensions required by the sector. These dimensions are:
- Achieving effective freight transportation systems
- Organization of logistics terminals
- Providing accessibility between terminals and centers
- Facilitating modality among the transportation systems
- Development of sea and rail-oriented transportation systems
Meeting of the daily subsistence of the city, and other requirements to sustain daily life (materials required for maintenance and construction of accommodation, social facilities, production facilities, etc. and activities and materials for waste disposal) by the logistics functions in time, are the main issues of the city. It is essential to meet the demands of the city both socially and economically and also provide input for production.
Urban freight transport often proves to be inefficient and under-optimized as it covers more kilometers for delivery than necessary, perhaps not least because the present urban economy is characterized by decreasing size of inventories, increasing demand for express deliveries as well as increasing home deliveries due to the growth in B2C e-commerce activity (Dablanc et al. [Freight 2011]).
In this context, the term City-Logistics achieved remarkable recognition. The underlying concept can be understood as the idea to apply efficient freight distribution systems to cities. Moreover, it serves as an umbrella term for a variety of concepts that concern improvements in the performance of urban freight traffic, such as bundling of flows of goods, logistics of disposal, route planning, and deployment of specialized logistics service providers (Dablanc [Goods 2007]). Benefits for operating environmentally friendly vehicles, designation of car-free zones, construction or enlargement of ring roads, delivery cooperation, freight villages where additional value-added services are offered, larger loading/unloading zones, and speed limits complement actions and instruments to reduce urban traffic and its negative effects, i.e. congestion, air pollution, noise, and increasing logistics costs (Russo & Comi [Assessment 2011]).
To summarize the aim of City Logistics is optimizing logistics systems within an urban area in global perspective by taking into account the costs, opportunities and benefits of recent systems, plans and projects to the public as well as the private sector.