Soft Computing

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2899–2909 | Cite as

Sustainability-based review of urban freight models

  • Maria Elena NenniEmail author
  • Antonio Sforza
  • Claudio Sterle


This paper provides a review of models and decision support systems for urban freight transport (UFT). The originality of this study is that the analysis framework has been developed to outline the progress on UFT specifically related to the sustainability issue. Accordingly, contributions regarding UFT and addressing at least one factor of sustainability have been analysed by cross-referencing categories of models with impacts on sustainability. Results from this work are supposed to help enhance research concerning operations research (OR) for sustainable UFT by pointing out gaps that need to be closed and opportunities for future research. There is also an attempt to understand what is stopping researchers from including selected sustainability factors in the optimisation models. This paper also finally proposes some developments, not only in the OR field, that are preparatory for elaborating new models or improving the existing ones.


Urban freight transport Sustainability Last-mile delivery Literature review 



This study was supported by the MOSTLOG—A multi-objective approach for a SusTainable LOGistic system—Project funded by the University Federico II of Naples, D.R. 341, 8 February 2016.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial EngineeringUniversity “Federico II” of NaplesNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Electrical Engineering and Information TechnologyUniversity “Federico II” of NaplesNaplesItaly

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