The Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics (SCTL) Center at the University of Washington has formed a new Urban Freight Lab to solve delivery system problems that cities and the business sector cannot handle on their own. Funders of this strategic research partnership include the City of Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and five founding corporate members: Costco, FedEx, Nordstrom, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service.
The core problem facing cities is that they are trying to manage their part of a sophisticated data-powered 21st-century delivery system with tools designed for the 1800s. Consumers can order groceries, clothes and electronics with a click, but most cities only have a stripe of colored paint to manage truck parking at the curb. The Urban Freight Lab brings building managers, retailers, logistics and tech firms, and city government together to do applied research and develop advanced solutions.