APCOA: A smart approach to using parking spaces for logistics

June 24, 2019






APCOA: A smart approach to using parking spaces for logistics




Fraunhofer IAO, veloCARRIER, evopark and APCOA present a solution for sustainable urban logistics in Stuttgart


The consortium behind the “Park_up” project, namely Fraunhofer IAO, veloCARRIER and evopark, has developed a solution for sustainable urban logistics in close cooperation with APCOA Parking Deutschland. Their concept envisages the use of publicly accessible parking spaces as transshipment hubs for cargo bikes. APCOA, Germany’s leading car park operator, is implementing the project in three of its central car parks in Stuttgart. On 24 June 2019, the companies will showcase the project in the Zeppelin-Carrée car park in Stuttgart.


Innovative and sustainable urban logistics needs space; not just for parking vehicle fleets, but also for resorting and transferring shipments from larger to smaller vehicles, such as cargo bikes. However, there is a serious shortage of such spaces in urban areas, or they are so expensive that logistics companies cannot afford to rent them. At the same time, parking spaces in multi-storey car parks close to the city centre are not always fully utilised at the times when logistics companies are most active. This is where the solution developed by the joint research project Park_up and APCOA comes in. The Park_up project has received a total of 1.710 million euros from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure’s Modernity Fund (mFUND) programme.


Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, says: “The aim of the Park_up project is to make optimum use of additional capacities within multi-storey car parks for logistics purposes. This benefits everyone. Parcel handling on cargo bikes is potentially very interesting from a business perspective, as well as being low in emissions and making a sustainable contribution to the supply chain of the future. The project, which is supported by the ministry’s mFUND, is an impressive example of modern urban logistics and, once it is up and running, can be rolled-out in many other cities across Germany”.


Publicly accessible parking spaces can be flexibly used and financed for logistics purposes


Together with veloCARRIER, evopark and APCOA, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO has developed a model that allows publicly accessible parking spaces to be leased to logistics providers on a temporary basis. Raimund Rassillier, Managing Director of a leading Stuttgart cargo bike courier service, says: “The Park_up project’s solution more than meets all of our requirements. Above all, we need space in the morning to transfer shipments to our cargo bikes. Parking spaces that we can rent as and when we need them are the ideal solution for this. For a logistics company like ours, there’s no way it would be economically feasible to rent such centrally located commercial space on a permanent basis”.


A key component of APCOA’s corporate strategy is to intelligently link the provision of parking spaces with inner-city logistics. On this basis alone, Park_up fits perfectly with the company’s strategic orientation, as Detlef Wilmer, Managing Director of APCOA PARKING Deutschland GmbH, explains: “The APCOA FLOW platform gives us the opportunity to become an integral part of inner-city logistics processes”. Philipp Schnorbach, Business Director of evopark, observes: “For the Park_up project, we have developed a website portal that allows logistics companies to easily and conveniently reserve parking spaces online”.


Algorithms calculate prices based on real-time environmental, weather and traffic data


Displays are fitted to parking areas to indicate when a parking space has been booked by a logistics company. In addition, the whole system is based on a flexible and dynamic pricing model, which takes a whole range of factors into account besides capacity utilisation, including the general traffic situation. Dr. Bernd Bienzeisler, project manager at Fraunhofer IAO, comments: “The dynamic pricing of parking spaces is a major topic in the field of traffic control and the promotion of sustainable mobility. We are therefore working on algorithms to develop price models that take environmental data, weather data and traffic data into account when determining prices”.



About the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure’s mFUND: 

Since 2016, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has been funding R&D projects related to digital data-based applications for Mobility 4.0 with a research initiative called mFUND. mFUND not only provides financial assistance but, with different event formats, it fosters networking between stakeholders from the political sphere, as well as the business and the research communities. It also promotes access to the mCLOUD data portal. For more information, please visit www.mfund.de.



APCOA PARKING Group is Europe’s leading parking operator with more than 45 years of industry expertise. With its 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.4 million individual parking spaces at over 9,000 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping center locations, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and 58 European airports. With its consistent “asset light” business model, APCOA is the trusted partner who maximizes value for private and public real estate owners.


Via its open digital platform APCOA FLOW, the company connects on-street and off-street car parks with clients, partners, customers and their vehicles. Based on this technology, APCOA is transforming its car parks into mobility hubs, offering innovative services that enable a more convenient mobility experience. The environment also benefits: with its digital services and intelligent Traffic Management System, the company actively contributes to the reduction of emissions in cities by decreasing the volume of traffic searching for parking. By connecting parking and mobility, APCOA is positioned to become an integral part of the Smart City.