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Response to COVID-19 lockdowns from urban freight stakeholders: An analysis from three surveys in 2020 in France, and policy implications

Abstract : The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to the implementation of health measures of varying degrees and scales. The lockdowns that took place in 2020, especially, have had a major impact on cities, transforming urban lifestyles, economic activities and mobility. Logistics became a priority activity. Faced with changed levels and types of consumption, freight and logistics operators in cities had to adapt, while logistics real estate developers had to face challenges related to building sites closed and regulatory and licensing processes delayed. Our main research in this paper is to characterize the way the urban freight and logistics system coped with the new situation. We focused on French cities, with Paris and the Paris metropolitan area as the main case. We implemented three surveys during and after the first lockdown in France (March–May 2020), with the views of identifying challenges while characterizing stakeholders’ response to the challenges. The three surveys took different and complementary forms, covering various categories of stakeholders: freight carriers (from small to large); third party logistics providers; on-demand delivery platforms; policy-makers; and logistics real-estate developers. We found out that operators adapted quickly and overall successfully, one major difference being between delivery operators and property developers. The first group experienced higher levels of financial and economic challenges; the second group experienced difficult relationships with administrations and regulations, while enjoying a rather high level of activity. The ability of local governments to deal with urban logistics challenges during the lockdowns was diverse and took several unexpected forms.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 2:38:17 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:54:00 PM

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Laetitia Dablanc, Adeline Heitz, Heleen Buldeo Rai, Diana Diziain. Response to COVID-19 lockdowns from urban freight stakeholders: An analysis from three surveys in 2020 in France, and policy implications. Transport Policy, Elsevier, 2022, 122, pp.85-94. ⟨10.1016/j.tranpol.2022.04.020⟩. ⟨hal-03715490⟩

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