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Mobility Restrictions and E-Commerce: Holistic Balance in Madrid Centre during COVID-19 Lockdown

Economies (MDPI) published this article in April 13, 2021, written by Rafael Villa (Camilo José Cela University) and Andrés Monzón (Transyt research group).

 

Abstract

COVID-19 has brought about a substantial change in urban mobility, as well as an unprecedented increase in e-commerce throughout the world due to the emergence of new ways of shopping and consumption habits. In this context, urban logistics plays a crucial role in the triple bottom line of sustainability. The present document establishes a holistic vision of the problem aiming to (i) measure and compare the traffic generated in the Madrid Central area (low-emission zone) during the periods before and after the pandemic, and (ii) quantify e-commerce orders made by residents, as well as the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV) required to deliver these parcels, measuring their environmental impact. The results show that road traffic in the Madrid Central area decreased by approximately 2/3 compared to normal levels and 1/2 in the case of LCVs. With regards to e-commerce, the number of parcels delivered doubled. This fact entailed an increase in the number of LVCs dedicated to package delivery in the central district and more pollution, but to a lesser extent than the growth of e-commerce. The challenge faced by urban logistics in the post-Covid era is managing to blend new mobility within large cities with the high volumes of e-commerce deliveries demanded by residents.

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