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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Identification of the regional and economic contexts of sustainable urban logistics policies

Kebede Reda, Abel; Gebresenbet, Girma; Tavasszy, Lori; Ljungberg, David


Urban logistics policies have become instrumental in achieving sustainable transport systems. Developing and emerging countries still lag far behind in the implementation of such policies when compared with developed countries. This exposure gap provides an opportunity for policy transfer, but this is a complex process requiring knowledge of many contextual factors and involving multiple steps. A good understanding of those contextual factors of measures by cities may be critical for a successful transfer. Our study aimed to identify the different contexts of urban logistics measures or policies worldwide and to assess their significance for policy transferability. In this study, urban logistics measures discussed in the literature were retrieved with a systematic literature review method and then the contexts were recorded, distinguishing between economic development levels and geographical regions. The analysis revealed that the economic level and geographical location of cities both have a strong association with the type of measure implemented. Barriers and drivers were identified by assessing policy transfer between developed and developing countries. Institutional and physical barriers appeared to be highly pertinent for a range of measures, while drivers or facilitators were identified from specific problems in developing countries and the respective measures in developed countries. Thus, the analysis of contextual factors can provide a first response to the key challenges and opportunities of sustainable urban logistics policies transfer to developing countries.


urban logistics; city logistics; sustainable policies; developing countries; policy transfer; policy adaptability

Published in

2020, volume: 12, number: 20, article number: 8322

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology
Tavasszy, Lori
Delft University of Technology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

Associated SLU-program


Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

UKÄ Subject classification

Transport Systems and Logistics

Publication Identifiers


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