The SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD DELIVERY HUB:
A zero-emissions last-mile delivery piloT in Seattle's Uptown 

The importance of efficient city logistics has never been greater. 

Two converging trends — the rise of e-commerce and growing urbanism — are creating major challenges for cities, putting tremendous pressure on the goods delivery system, overwhelming infrastructure, straining congested city streets, and contributing to increased air and noise pollution. The response to COVID-19 has only added new constraints and demands and highlighted the essential nature of delivery and distribution.

Enter the Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub.

As one of the nation's first zero-emissions last-mile delivery pilots, the Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub serves as a testbed for innovative sustainable urban logistics strategies on the ground in Seattle's dense Uptown neighborhood. Providers can test and evaluate new technologies, vehicles, and delivery models — all in service of quickly getting to market new more fuel- and resource-efficient solutions, reducing emissions and congestion, and making our cities more livable and sustainable.

These technologies are also an important part of the City of Seattle's Transportation Electrification Blueprint, including the goal of transitioning 30% of goods delivery to zero emissions by 2030.

 

What is a Microhub?

A microhub is a central drop-off / pick-up location for goods, creating closer proximity to a delivery point and serving a smaller range of service area. By distributing operations close to the end customer in city centers and offering additional services onsite, these hubs can alleviate congestion, reduce emissions, consolidate freight vehicle trips, reduce vehicle miles traveled, and enable transfers to low- or zero-emissions fleet for final mile deliveries.
 

Benefits of a Microhub

 
Bike Icon

Homebase for zero-emissions last-mile delivery

Scooter Icon
Errands Icon
Smart Phone Icon

access points for shared mobility

touchless
pick-up and drop-off points

trip chaining capability

People in Community Icon

shared public space

Electrification Icon

charging infrastructure

Parcel Delivery Icon

increased delivery density

 
The Products

URBAN FREIGHT LAB (University of Washington)

Common Carrier Parcel Lockers //

Common carrier parcel locker systems create delivery density, enabling carriers to transport numerous packages during a single stop, reducing dwell time and failed deliveries, both of which produce congestion, emissions, and increased costs. Customers complete their own final mile delivery. Sign up at Belltownlockers.com.

COASTER CYCLES

Electric-Assist Cargo Bike Fleet //

 

Electric-assist cargo trikes provide an agile,  sustainable last-mile delivery solution in dense urban areas, mitigating the emissions, congestion, and noise produced by traditional truck delivery. These trikes are customized to carry BrightDrop EP1s.

AXLEHIRE
Last-Mile Delivery Routing Software //

 

AxleHire's delivery technology enables drivers to make last-mile deliveries using the fastest, most efficient routes possible.

BRIGHTDROP
(By General Motors)

Electric Pallets (EP1) //

The BrightDrop EP1 is a propulsion-assisted electric pallet designed to help reduce package touch points, costs, and physical strain on the labor force while optimizing the movement of goods over short distances.

REEF

Neighborhood Kitchen //

 

Neighborhood kitchens are non-customer-facing modular vessels where food is prepared for mobile app or delivery orders. Removing front-of-house operations reduces a restaurant's footprint, increases sustainability, and gives food entrepreneurs a platform by reducing overhead costs.

STAR LAB
(University of Washington)

Sensing Devices and Data Collection //

 

STAR Lab's Mobile Unit for Sensing Traffic (MUST) is a comprehensive edge computing device that collects data on vehicle, pedestrian, and bicycle volumes, travel time, and speed estimates—enabling researchers to assess the performance of the Neighborhood Hub.

 
The Players
Anne Goodchild, Urban Freight Lab

Anne Goodchild
Founding Director
Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center
(Home of the Urban Freight Lab)

“In partnership with our members and the City of Seattle, the Urban Freight Lab is excited to help catalyze a transition to zero-emissions last-mile delivery. We anticipate the pilot will reduce traffic in the Uptown neighborhood, provide access to safe and convenient goods and services, and allow our partners to test novel, zero-emissions delivery solutions.”

Sam Zimbabwe
Director
Seattle Department of Transportation

"Over 60% of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation, so we must change how we move around in order to meet our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2050. Rethinking how we deliver goods is a critical part of this, so we are excited to partner with University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab and the private sector to find innovative solutions to meet our aggressive targets towards a more sustainable future."

Daniel Sokolovsky, AxleHire

“We’ve all come together as people who are passionate about more efficient and sustainable delivery methods in major metro areas. In a world where logistics and supply chain are often part of the problem (i.e. global warming), we’re excited to provide last-mile technology that is part of the solution.” 

Daniel Sokolovsky
Founder
AxleHire

Bob Tiderington
Senior Manager of Strategy & Operations
BrightDrop

"BrightDrop is proud to work alongside these like-minded organizations at the neighborhood delivery hub to test the feasibility of a more sustainable last-mile perishable goods delivery service. We see this as an opportunity to encourage people to step into a place of imagination to consider the world of delivery and logistics not as it is, but how it could be sooner than later. At a time when less contact is more, BrightDrop’s EP1 is designed to help reduce package touch points, costs, and physical strain on the labor force."

Ben Morris
Founder & CEO
Coaster Cycles

“Coaster Cycles exists to be a vital part of the city of tomorrow. It’s easy to ignore what exists between the mouse-click and the package on our doorstep and the true cost of convenience. There is real effort behind making this a better experience and, more importantly, a sustainable and responsible one.”

Bill Sleeth, REEF

“REEF is proud to be part of a project that connects neighborhoods and advances our mission of creating walkable 15-minute cities. The development of last-mile logistics centers will reduce congestion, pollution, and traffic, while allowing people to focus on the things they love to do, rather than things they need to do.”

Bill Sleeth
Head of Physical Product
REEF

 
Location
 
The Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub is located at 130 5th Ave. N. in Seattle's Uptown neighborhood.
 
In the Media
 
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GEEKWIRE

6/17/21

Seattle’s first neighborhood delivery hub is now live.

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FREIGHTWAVES

6/17/21

Pilot project will test technologies, zero-emission vehicles in delivering food and parcels.

EP1.jpeg

GM AUTHORITY

6/17/21

Today, we announced one of the nation’s first zero operating emissions, last-mile delivery hubs.

 
A Package's Journey: From Container to Customer
 
ASSETS
for download //

Press Release

FAQs

B-Roll Package

Promo Video

 
HI-RES PHOTOS
for download //
Media Contacts
 

Leadership Team

Seattle Department of Transportation Logo
 

Partners

AxleHire Logo
BrightDrop Logo
Coaster Cycles Logo
REEF-Logo-BW.png

Technology

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ABOUT
THE URBAN FREIGHT LAB

The Urban Freight Lab at the University of Washington is a structured partnership of academic researchers, public sector agencies, and private sector firms — shippers, retailers, tech providers, property owners, and manufacturers — working collaboratively to design solutions to make industry more efficient and cities more sustainable and livable.

Since launching in 2016, the UFL has completed an innovative suite of research projects on the Final 50 Feet of delivery, providing proven strategies to reduce dwell time and failed delivery attempts, reducing congestion, emissions, and costs.

 

Urban Freight Lab

University of Washington
Box 352130
Seattle, WA 98195-2130
sctl@uw.edu

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