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ALBOX - Business model and service potential for flexible flows of goods and information in the parcel segment

The project aims at the experimental development and piloting of parcel service provider-independent locker systems (receiving and shipping systems for e.g. parcels) in combination with customized service offers in the real experimental spaces Kaumberg (Lower Austria) and Margareten (Vienna).

The main focus is on the usability check (or acceptance study) of the existing hardware and software solution, which offers added value for recipients, logistics service providers and municipalities on an economic, ecological and social level. The innovative (local) supply structures (i.e. locker systems) can optimize delivery activities, save time and travel costs as well as CO2 emissions on the supply and demand side, and make settlements and cities sustainable.

Throughout the project, special attention is paid to the consideration of interests and needs of involved stakeholders (such as recipients, municipal decision makers, local business, parcel service providers) and to the development of spatially scalable results.

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In its complexity, the rapid growth of online retail requires innovative solutions to ensure the most resource-efficient spatial supply quality in urban and also rural areas.

Therefore, the alBOX project aims at an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable distribution or "pick-up" of goods and services, which meets the needs of users, parcel service providers and municipalities in the best possible way. By taking into account areas with different settlement structures, the transferability of the results is to be ensured across the board.

The project follows the idea of linking provider-independent ("white label") locker systems (receiving and shipping systems for e.g. parcels in the B2C, B2B and C2C sectors) with local service offerings.

Based on preliminary studies and the use of existing data and software solutions, the potential of the locker systems will be tested in the course of an operational pilot in the real experimental areas Kaumberg (Lower Austria) and Margareten (Vienna). The focus is on the usability check (keyword acceptance investigation) of involved stakeholders (such as recipients, municipal decision-makers, local business, parcel service providers), who are integrated into the project work in a continuous dialog process.

Significant added value results from the generation of (1) quantitative (e.g., shipment sizes, frequencies of orders, typification of ordered goods, usage times and histories) and (2) qualitative data (e.g., user experience, usability). The data obtained enables the provision of customized services and a redesign of goods and information flows that can be applied across the board. The bundling of goods enables an economic operation and the generation of positive social effects (e.g. accessibility for users with special needs) and ecological effects (e.g. reduction of traffic-related negative environmental effects such as CO2). In particular, real data will be used to investigate whether and to what extent parcel walls have an impact on traffic and, in particular, on CO2 emissions. It will thus be possible for the first time to evaluate the actual positive or negative impact of such white label logistics concepts.

On the demand side, demand situations and potentials are uncovered (keyword acceptance and use) and on the supply side, suitable business models are developed and associated services redefined. The generalizability and scalability of the qualitative and quantitative data obtained will enable the development of scenarios for the future profitable operation of 24/7 accessible locker facilities open to parcel service providers throughout Austria.

The necessary expertise is ensured by an interdisciplinary consortium consisting of AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, TU Wien, FH des bfi Wien, Storebox Holding GmbH and Variocube GmbH.

This project is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and is carried out within the framework of the "Smart Cities Demo - Living Urban Innovation" program.

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