2013 I-NUF Overview

I-NUF 2013 is our fifth METRANS Urban Freight Conference. 

We’re no longer just the National Urban Freight Conference. This time around, we’ve truly gone global and believe our new name, the International Urban Freight Conference (I-NUF) better describes the international nature of the conference, its themes, and presenters. 

The purpose of I-NUF is to provide a forum for sharing emerging, multi-disciplinary research on all aspects of freight in metropolitan areas.

I-NUF was held October 8-10, 2013, at The Westin Long Beach Hotel, Long Beach, California.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon on Wednesday, October 9, was Charles (Chuck) Holland, Vice President of Engineering at UPS. He will offer perspectives on emerging trends in local package delivery including the impacts of e-commerce and home shopping on the urban freight business.

Featured in the spotlight luncheon interview on Tuesday, October 8, was Jake Racker, Regional Logistics Director at Kroger Co.. He discussed recent changes in distribution for the grocery industry especially in the area of automation. He was interviewed by Mat Kaplan, CSULB.

This year's I-NUF featured panelists and presenters coming from 16 countries and from throughout the United States.

Much has changed since the first National Urban Freight Conference was held in 2006.  At the time, we described the conference as a “unique opportunity to consider the ‘urban side’ of freight across many disciplines.” Today, urban freight is recognized as an important and legitimate field of study.  It is a common topic for special conferences and for tracks within the allied disciplinary conferences.   

At the first NUF we described the state of knowledge as follows: “Our understanding of how freight and international trade affect urban areas remains limited. The distribution of economic and environmental impacts across metropolitan areas merits further documentation. The tools for modeling and forecasting freight flows within regions are not well developed. The nature of the goods movement supply chain is still poorly understood, and implications of the supply chain logic for urban areas are only developing.”

Today we have a much better understanding of how freight and international trade affect urban areas, and efforts to make urban freight more efficient and sustainable are taking place across the globe.  Indeed, city logistics research (a term unknown in 2006) is aimed at improving freight efficiency while minimizing both economic costs and social externalities. Although our models and forecasting tools remain a work in progress, we are much better positioned now to integrate freight into the regional transportation planning process.  And finally, we are beginning to explore the spatial organization of urban freight and supply chains. 

We welcomed papers and presentations on any aspect of urban freight and from any discipline or mix of disciplines.  Major topic areas include:

  • Local/last mile pickup and delivery
  • Environmental impacts and responses
  • Economics of urban trucking
  • Port operations
  • Freight in urban modeling and planning
  • ITS applications in urban freight
  • Hubs and city interactions
  • Emerging trends in consumption, production, and spatial organization
  • Security and vulnerability
  • Best practices

Call for Abstracts:  Abstracts for papers or presentations were to be submitted by June 15, 2013.  See additional details in the Call for Abstracts section listed above on the right.