Demand Forecasting Models for Urban Goods Movements

  • Agostino Nuzzolo Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Umberto Crisalli Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
  • Antonio Comi Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”


In order to reduce the impacts of freight transport, Public Administration usually implements city logistics scenarios, whose effects have to be evaluated by using ex-ante assessment procedures. This paper proposes the state-of-the-art of models for the prediction of urban goods movements, which have been developed to support the above ex-ante assessment. Aiming at preserving the economic sustainability of the businesses located in the city and, at the same time, the environmental quality, the new challenge of urban traffic management is the optimization of the access of a large number of trucks and vans delivering goods in the urban area. Thus, the availability of a reliable tool for ex-ante assessment plays a key role in the decision making processes. Starting from the structure of urban goods distribution and its critical states, this paper identifies the decision-makers, whose choices could be influenced by city logistics measures. Furthermore, considering the outcomes and goals to be reached by Public Administration, the city logistics measures are also classified. In such way, it is possible to define the decisional processes influenced by city logistics measures, that models have to simulate. The presented modelling system allows us to forecast the OD truck flows within the study area and it consists of two sub-systems: the first related to the demand and the second related to the logistics. The former gives the OD matrices in terms of deliveries; the latter allows to convert the delivery OD flows into truck OD flows. The demand sub-system has been specified as a partial share model. From socio-economic data of the study area, it allows us to estimate the OD matrices in quantity characterized by service type, as well as the OD matrices in deliveries characterized by time slice and vehicle type. The logistic sub-system allows to estimate the OD matrices in vehicles. The modelling framework consists of two models that allow us to reproduce the commercial vehicle tours within the urban area. The former model gives the distribution of tours per number of deliveries; the latter gives the probability to choose the following destination for the next delivery.


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Author Biographies

Agostino Nuzzolo, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
Agostino Nuzzolo is full professor of Transportation Planning at the Faculty of Engineering of “Tor Vergata” University of Rome. His research work is relative to the theory of transportation systems and its application in transportation analysis, modeling and planning. He is the author or co-author of several books on the innovative schedule-based dynamic approach to transportation networks, and more than 150 papers and book chapters. He is currently the president of the Italian Accademic Society of Transports (SIDT). He has been working as consultant mainly in the field of feasibility studies of transport infrastructures.
Umberto Crisalli, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
Umberto Crisalli, associate professor, teaches in Traffic Flow Theory and Transportation terminals. He is author of more than 80 paper in transportation area. His scientific activity is pretty oriented to the analysis of transportation systems through theoretical and practical studies on the main transportation research fields regarding supply, demand, and their interaction (assignment), as well as methods and applications transport to support design and planning. He has been studying mathematical models for public transport systems, using the innovative schedule-based approach that has been published on transportation journals and has been presented in many scientific conferences both international and Italian. He has been involved in many Italian national research projects playing as research unit leader, through which the in-progress one on urban freight distribution titled "Guidelines for City Logistics Plans editing".
Antonio Comi, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
Antonio Comi obtained his first degree in Transportation Engineering in 2000, and completed his Ph.D. in Transportation Engineering in 2004. In 2005 he was research granter at “Mediterranea” University of Reggio Calabria, and since 2006 he is Assistant Professor at “Tor Vergata” University of Rome, Department of Civil Engineering. He teaches “Transport and Environment” and his research activity is mainly addressed to the development and the application of models and methods for the analysis and the design of passenger and freight transport systems at urban and extra-urban scale. He has involved in many national and international research projects, through which the last ones on urban freight transport titled “Guidelines for City Logistics Plans editing”, and “Innovative solutions to freight distribution in the complex large urban area of Rome” supported by Volvo Research and Educational Foundations. He has published more than 50 papers in transportation area.


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How to Cite
Nuzzolo, A., Crisalli, U., & Comi, A. (2010). Demand Forecasting Models for Urban Goods Movements. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 3(2).