conference overview

Conference on urban freight attracts participants from 40 countries


23-25 March 2021 researchers as well as representatives from city authorities and industry from 40 countries will gather online to focus on urban freight. The conference has over 80 presentations and the research findings are from many different regions including South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Portrait Michael Browne

Meet Michael Browne, professor of Logistics at the Department of Business Administration,  is one of the organisers of the 4th VREF conference on Urban freight.

Why is this conference important?

- The conference helps to maintain and extend the network of urban freight researchers which has become increasingly international. It also allows us to share research studies and findings with city authorities and industry. In the same way it is also an opportunity to learn about the industry and public sector view of priorities in this field. The conference will have different scenarios to boost attendees’ interaction and networking such as panel discussions, plenary and parallel presentations, a roundtable and a workshop.

What new research will be presented?

- We have over 80 presentations. Work on the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on urban freight and logistics will be presented and this will certainly be interesting because there have been many changes to deliveries in cities. New research about how to manage the curbside and delivery spaces in cities will also be presented. The importance of planning for urban freight features in a number of presentations and new findings will be relevant to how freight fits within future urban spatial planning and design.

What are you looking forward to the most?

- We have papers from researchers based in 20 countries and I am really looking forward to hearing about research findings from so many different regions including South America, sub-Saharan Africa and India. Research from closer to home including Gothenburg will also be presented and it will be good to share these studies with other researchers. It is going to be a great opportunity to welcome new researchers and representatives of industry and city authorities to this research network.  I am also looking forward to meeting up with colleagues who attended the first three conferences we held even if this time it will all be distance-based!

Who can participate in or listen to the conference?

- The conference is open to all those interested in urban freight topics. There is no fee to attend but registration is required.

Registration link and details of the conference

4th VREF Conference on Urban Freight 23-25 March 2021

The conference is organised by the Urban Freight Platform (UFP) which is a joint initiative between University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology supported by Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) on urban freight research based in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Conference webpage

The conference organising committee
Ivan Sanchez-Diaz, Catrin Lammgård, Juan Pablo Castrellon and Michael Browne.

The conference has been supported by: 

  • ICLEI, a global network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.
  • POLIS,  the leading network of European cities and regions working together to develop innovative technologies and policies for local transport.
  • Northern LEAD, the logistics competence centre at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology.