Best Routes: Improvements in routes and distribution of food products

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Through its spin-off Sparsity Technologies, DAMA UPC is participating in Best Routes, a project to improve transport routes and the distribution of food products.


The food distribution sector works to provide food products at lower prices. One parameter on which it acts is costs associated with logistics. This can be achieved by reducing the number of vehicles transporting food, combining logistics efforts between distribution companies and organising the use of the territory so that it is easy to share or use others’ vehicles by renting transport space.

The aim of acting on these three areas is to improve the relationship between the territory and people. A reduction in transport vehicles will reduce transport accidents, cut pollution, and enhance the image of distribution companies’ social and environmental commitment. The reduction in operating costs will cut the costs of goods transport and consequently the final cost of selling products.

Sparsity Technologies, a spin-off of DAMA UPC and developer of its technology, will be involved in the design and presentation of the project, the preparation of the pilot project and its logistic feasibility. It will also play an executive role in the establishment of the computer system, the web app for managing planning and a mobile app for the stakeholders in the process (the distributor, bus driver and last-mile delivery person).

The innovation in the Best Routes pilot project, which will be developed in the Girona area, implies a conceptual change that involves shifting from specific transport vehicles to passenger transport vehicles for the conveyance of dry goods. The aims of the projects are:

  • Obtain through the pilot study a prototype of software that can be used to scale up the system to all Catalonia in a year and a half.
  • Obtain a system that can be implemented anywhere in the world easily and quickly.
  • Facilitate the transport of goods, strictly following the rules and regulations for the transport of goods and passengers.
  • Create a business model to ensure sustainability and improvement over time and that can be implemented through the collaboration of software, packaging and logistics companies.
  • Create a model for distribution companies to achieve savings that can be passed onto customers and make the companies more competitive.
  • Generate a model for companies operating regular passenger transport lines, to take advantage of luggage spaces that would otherwise be empty.
  • Promote models of eco-friendly delivery for last miles and historical centres.

The Best Routes project is aimed at all food distribution companies that could use transport lines’ vehicles to transport dried food products in territories where operating costs can be high, and at all passenger transport companies, who find a way to profit from unused load spaces on the line.

Other project participants include the Cluster Foodservice, which is the project coordinator; Frit Ravich,  the manufacturer and distributer associated with the cluster; the Association of Municipalities for Mobility and Urban Transport (AMTU) that manages the urban mobility of passengers in Catalonia and has the capacity to organise these kinds of initiatives involving licensed public transport companies and the company Font Packaging Group.

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