October 11-12, 2018: e-groceries, digitalization and sustainability

Cluster 2 of NECTAR (Network of European Communications and Transport Activities Research) focuses on policy and environment and is organizing a meeting in Molde (Norway) on the 11th and 12th of October 2018.


Concentrating on digitalized services connected to groceries, in general, with a specific focus on food as a subset, is relevant and important. In fact, a more transport efficient distribution of groceries to the final consumer has a significant potential for reducing the carbon footprint.
Research shows that online grocery stores can reduce up to 50% of GHG emissions grocery deliveries produce. While such estimates are perhaps optimistic and contested by other research, the issue is important and worth investigating given its potential for GHG emission reductions.

The growth of the e-grocery industry and its impact on transport depends on several factors. The development is likely to depend both on the organization of the grocery industry and consumer preferences for online purchases. These two elements are strongly interlinked. In fact, a larger scale of home deliveries is likely to affect the structure and performance of the urban freight chain and the preferences may, in turn, be affected in a dynamic way. The success/failure of the solutions promoted will depend on local government policies with respect to transport and land use (e.g. the use of Automatic Parcel Lockers). As the last mile logistic distribution is characterized by increasing returns, the outcome will probably differ across more and less densely populated areas/regions.

Call for papers
The papers presented/discussed at the workshop should aid governance, planning and regulation as well as building competence for the industry and the public sector and toaddress to what extent this area of digitalization is likely to contribute to a more effective, sustainable transport system.
The focus on grocery shopping is because it is the most frequent and common form of shopping on one side and, on the other, is a very dynamic and fast growing segment at present and it is expected to be so also in the near future.

The workshop will provide a unique international forum for researchers and experts in the field of transport, city logistics, economics, planning, mobility, technology, retail, marketing, geography and other relevant disciplines. The workshop aims at developing a better understanding of the interactions with respect to consumer preferences, retailing options, technology, organizational innovations, city planning, policy tools and their contribution to the sustainable mobility of urban areas.

Papers on any topic relevant to E-groceries, digitalization and sustainability in cities are welcome. Topics of special interest include, even if are not limited to:

  • Consumer preferences for on-line/off-line grocery buying
  • Alternative delivery service characteristics/configurations
  • Fulfilment issues with respect to on-line groceries retailing
  • Adoption of grocery online shopping
  • Grocery shopping and ageing population
  • Retailing strategies
  • Proximity stores, delivery fragmentation and routing
  • Modeling channel, store and mode choice
  • Modelling emissions for alternative distribution/delivery organization alternative
  • Public policy making and regulation

For more informatie, click here.

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