2017 I-NUF Overview

Welcome to the 2017 International Urban Freight Conference. I-NUF was established in 2006 and is held every two years. Organized by the METRANS Transportation Center, the purpose of I-NUF is to provide a forum for multidisciplinary research on all aspects of urban freight. A second purpose of I-NUF is to raise the visibility of urban freight research.  I-NUF is recognized as the premier venue for urban freight research. It draws participants from around the world representing the research community, the private sector, and government.

Urban freight is a growing area of research. As the population becomes increasingly urbanized, cities become larger and more dense; transport demands of both passengers and freight become more challenging to manage. When population and economic activity are concentrated, the externalities of freight--air pollution, noise, traffic congestion--affect more people. At the same time, some of the solutions that solve passenger transport problems, such as more use of non-motorized modes or alternative fuel vehicles, are much more difficult to apply to freight transport. Cities have historically been centers of trade, and globalization has reinforced this role. The largest ports, airports, and trade centers are located in cities, adding another dimension to urban freight. Finally, freight accounts for a substantial share of all transport sector GHG emissions. Developing ways to reduce these emissions is critical, whether through better managing freight demand, more efficient freight flows, new vehicle technologies, or other strategies.

I-NUF 2017 will feature papers and presentations in the following thematic areas:

  • Local/last mile pickup and delivery
  • Trade nodes and hubs – ports, airports, distribution hubs
  • Freight modes – trucking, rail, water
  • Urban modeling and planning
  • New technology
  • Changing consumption, production and spatial organization
  • Best practices

Sustainability is a cross-cutting theme. We welcome papers on environmental impacts or mitigation strategies in all thematic areas. We also welcome proposals for special sessions.

METRANS staff and faculty are managing and coordinating the conference. METRANS includes several centers, and all of them are contributing to this conference. MetroFreight is organizing sessions and leading recruitment of international participants.  The Pacific Southwest Region UTC is participating in conference organization. The METRANS team of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation is focusing on sustainability topics. The Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC) is coordinating activities related to workforce development.