New research project: innovative sustainable urban last-mile: small vehicles and business models (i-SMILE)

A new research project looks into last-mile deliveries with a focus on sustainable choices. Nordic Innovation has funded the three-year project.



Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash


In collaboration with Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, VTI Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Gothenburg and the Institute of Transport Economics in Oslo plus a number of private companies in retail and urban freight, Department of Operations Management has started an innovation research project. The project will investigate the rationale of stakeholders in last-mile deliveries in cities to identify the drivers for making sustainable choices and propose innovative business models. Primary stakeholders are consumers, shippers and logistics service providers, as well as municipalities.

The project purpose is to increase sustainability in urban last-mile deliveries – with a special focus on cargo bikes - by understanding how innovations in urban last-mile reduce the negative effects of e-commerce and at the same time create world-class delivery services for consumers. Further, the aim of the i-Smile project is to develop an innovation platform for upscaling sustainable business models for urban last-mile deliveries.


“The project is an excellent example on how to build a strong consortium with external partners that collectively can help speeding up the transition to sustainable cities”

Carsten Ørts Hansen, Head of the Department of Operations Management


 For more information, contact Professor Britta Gammelgaard at

The page was last edited by: Department of Operations Management // 02/06/2023