The continuing digitalization includes essential trends in the trade and distribution of goods. Since several years, online trade increases significantly and becomes a trade channel for more and more product groups. At the same time, „same-day-delivery“ becomes increasingly important for the consumers.
This comes along with relocation and modification of traffic flows. One example might be the drop of passenger traffic towards the city centers. In the freight transport sector, CEP-services benefit from small shipments and fragmented deliveries. High numbers of returns have to be handled within the traffic system. Consequences are the increasing freight traffic and more logistics networks with new locations, distribution concepts and vehicles.
From an urban planning and urban development perspective, there might be consequences as well. The classic retail trade might retreat; initially particularly from areas with a low centrality, but in the medium term also from the city centers. This brings notable effects on location qualities, land prices and labor markets.
The research project „Impacts of online trade on traffic and urban development“ examines the large range of impacts online trade has on traffic and urban development. In a first step, an effect matrix is developed on the basis of a literature analysis. These impacts are tested empirically using existing data. Building on this, three scenarios for the year 2020 are created to illustrate the large range of possible developments in the traffic sector and urban development that might result from trends in the online trade. Finally, the results are used as the basis of recommendations of action for different stakeholders and decision-making levels.