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
Homebase for zero-emissions last-mile delivery
access points for shared mobility
pick-up and drop-off points
trip chaining capability
shared public space
increased delivery density
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.
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.
Last-Mile Delivery Routing Software //
AxleHire's delivery technology enables drivers to make last-mile deliveries using the fastest, most efficient routes possible.
(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.
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.
(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.
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.”
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."
“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.”
Senior Manager of Strategy & Operations
"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."
Founder & CEO
“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.”
“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.”
Head of Physical Product
The Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub is located at 130 5th Ave. N. in Seattle's Uptown neighborhood.
In the Media
A Package's Journey: From Container to Customer
for download //
for download //
Urban Freight Lab: Katie Ward // firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Department of Transportation: Ethan Bergerson // email@example.com
AxleHire: Marie Martin // firstname.lastname@example.org
BrightDrop: Maria Violette // email@example.com
Coaster Cycles: Jesse Bartholomew // firstname.lastname@example.org
REEF: Mason Harrison // email@example.com
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.