1.1e <p>Subcontracting in the Urban Freight Industry</p>

Project Number


Project Summary

Subcontracting in the Urban Freight Industry

Project Status


Project Report



Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Assistant Professor
University of Bourgogne
Director of Research, IFSTTAR, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks - University of Paris-East
14-20 boulevard Newton, Cite Descartes
77447 Marne la Vallee cedex 2
Senior Researcher, Economics
University Paris-Est, IFSTTAR/SPLOTT
14-20 boulevard Newton, Cite Descartes
77447 Marne la Vallee cedex 2

Subcontracting is a common practice in road transport, especially in parcel transport operations. Parcel transport is defined as the collection and distribution of shipments of less than three tons. Deliveries and pick-up rounds in urban areas present some specificities (such as difficult traffic and parking situations) which contribute to the high use of subcontracting within the parcel transport sector. Sub-contracting allows parcel carriers to minimize the costs of urban trips and to provide a flexible and cost-efficient service to shippers. We analyzed a 2012 “carriers” survey done in the Paris region, France, as well as an earlier survey made in the Lyon region, France. We also interviewed several carriers. These interviews and surveys enlighten the relationships between parcel transport companies and their subcontractors and allow us to propose dependence indicators.