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Smart Micrologistics

- Contribution of Digitisation to Efficient Logistics Services in Rural Areas

Student assistants


April 2020 – January 2023

Project partners

Fraunhofer-Arbeitsgruppe für Supply Chain Services – SCS (Fraunhofer Working Group for Supply Chain Services);
Bundesverband der Regionalbewegung e.V. (BVRB) (Federal Association of Rural Development Movements);

Further cooperation:

Deutsche Vernetzungsstelle Ländliche Räume (dvs) (German Network Hub for Rural Areas);
Deutscher Verband für Landespflege (DVL) (German Association for Landscape Conservation)

Description of the project

Appropriate logistics solutions for rural areas are a central prerequisite for economic activities. However, small or fluctuating quantities and long distances often make transport by individual companies unprofitable and ecologically questionable. The project focuses in particular on micro-logistic solutions for regional food supply, which on the one hand must meet special requirements and on the other hand contributes to common welfare in rural areas.

Various private and public initiatives are therefore already developing solutions for sustainable regional supply networks. Digital instruments hold potential for increasing the efficiency of logistical solutions (i.e. through the transparent bundling of the needs of several companies and the better utilisation of trips that take place "anyway"). But which solutions work - how and under which conditions?

Research objectives

The systematisation of different micro-logistic solutions and their digital elements shall offer actors in rural areas a decision basis for the choice of suitable micro-logistic solutions under their specific regional conditions and provide decision makers on different levels with knowledge for designing appropriate supporting measures.

Research questions

A) Which economic, ecological, social and organisational-legal advantages and disadvantages do existing innovative logistical solutions have for the "first and last mile"? How do these relate to the regional specifics of rural areas (e.g. proximity to conurbations, population density etc.)?

B) What potentials does digitisation hold for efficient logistic solutions in rural areas, and what barriers stand in the way of exploiting these potentials?

Work packages

  • Nationwide inventory of innovative logistics solutions with digital solution elements
  • Systematisation of the characteristics of intelligent logistic solutions and their application potential
  • In-depth case study of the potential of intelligent logistics solutions for three sample regions that have contrasting characteristics
  • Development of decision support and recommendations for political framework conditions

Knowledge exchange between logistics initiatives as well as multipliers in associations and other actors in rural areas is pursued in parallel, e.g. in logistics forums.


Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Auxiliary Functions


Martina Schäfer
Phone: +49 (0)30 314-26854
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12326854
Room 3306


Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft
Sec. KAI 3-2
10553 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-23665
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12323665