Amsterdam: the role of public procurement in city logistics

The City of Amsterdam has a policy framework for making mobility in the city more sustainable. The municipal procurement and tendering of facility goods and services can help shape the vision and policy for zero-emission transport.

A report evaluated the procurement processes of facility goods and services and freight transport and logistics hubs for facility contracts for the City of Amsterdam. Conclusions and recommendations are also highlighted for personel mobility related to services. The report was created through interviews with people within and outside the Amsterdam municipality and based on urban logistics publications.


Amsterdam’s policy framework for sustainable traffic and transport provides a sound basis for including sustainable urban logistics in contracts and, thus, in tenders.

It is possible to request zero-emission deliveries in tenders based on various concrete ambition levels.

Logistics hubs have the potential to reduce traffic movements, but only if there is: a sufficient volume of different types of goods to bundle and there is a high urgency to drive less or cleaner, such as zero-emission transport. At low volumes, a logistics hub may be counterproductive to the efficiency of the route caused by the carrier. In addition, hub services are relatively expensive at low volumes.

Local traffic regulations, such as weight restrictions or times window, provide an incentive for making logistics more sustainable locally.


Include zero-emission passenger and freight transport in contracts to supply facility goods and services. This encourages clean transport and, for the time being – in the coming years – is an incentive for the emergence of a more efficient logistics structure. For this purpose, ambition levels and concrete text proposals for tenders are provided.

Include transport via a logistics hub in contracts as part of the deliveries, if the type of goods allows it and there is a sufficiently large volume. At the same time, seek collaboration with other procurement categories and organizations to further increase the volume of goods at a hub and make the hub efficient and cost-effective.

Only when sufficient volume is organized can it make sense to make transportation through a hub mandatory in the contract.

As a municipality, do not prescribe the location of a hub or contract for hub services separately. Instead, leave the responsibility for delivery to the delivery location with the supplier.

Start a further exploration into the possibilities of cooperation of the municipal purchasing categories and collaboration with other purchasing parties in Amsterdam. To increase the volume and thus make city logistics more efficient and cleaner. This is in line with the Amsterdam hub vision for the logistics chain.

Consider a parcel division that achieves efficient transport, such as a geographical division or a distinction between locations with large and small volumes of goods (large volumes delivered directly, small volumes delivered bundled).

Source: City of Amsterdam

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