NAHTRANSPORT – development of a non-motorized goods transport system for local supply

The main aim in the project NAHTRANSPORT is to develop a system for non-motorized transport of goods and the associated creation of suitable components, for optimization of last-mile transport of goods to the customers homes.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

Due to escalating (sprawling) development of settlements and the concomitant traffic volumes in a globalising economy, distances of transport and therefore energy use and emissions as well have grown tremendously in all parts of the supply chain of goods and services. Last-mile transport plays a significant role as exemplified by the fact that shopping by car uses on average about 100 times more fuel per kg of goods and km than required for supplying a retailer by a truck.

The project NAHTRANSPORT is facing the challenge of finite resources and looming climate change, which represents the starting point of the proposed project. The aim therefore is to further reduce energy consumption and emissions. Shorter distances and more efficient means of transport will play a major role in this endeavour.

Contents and goals

The main aim is to develop a system for non-motorized transport of goods and the associated creation of suitable components, for optimization of last-mile transport of goods to the customers’ homes.


For this new system of short-distance transport new concepts for:

  • innovative products (types of means of transport for pedestrians and cyclists)
  • procedures (organisation of use) and
  • services (delivery)

are to be developed.

The focus is on new types of shopping trolleys also suitable for transport of goods to the homes. For their use innovative organizational methods, aided by IT-systems, will be analysed, which ensure a cycle of shopping trolleys between retailers and homes (e.g. a rental system). This includes a corresponding infrastructure (places for leaving the innovative means of transport in public space as well as residential buildings).

New and improved products (shopping trolleys, walking frames, bike trailer, high-load bikes etc.) and services will be integrated into the system, to ensure suitable means of transport for every shopping need.

Requirements on settlement structures for a successful implementation of the new transport system will be analysed (e.g. retailers within short distances). Following an analysis of needs:

  • profiles of requirements will be specified
  • adequate solution statements (concepts) for the new types of means of transport as well as their use and their integration in the system of short distance transport will be developed, and the
  • potential for their utilization will be assessed.

Results and Conclusions

The project aim is to develop a transport system which is in the long term useful for all people (for the last mile of the transport chain in shopping), ensuring their supply in a sustainable manner.
In detail this encompasses the development of:

  • design concepts for innovative types of means of transport (particularly shopping trolleys), partly for improvement of selected means of transport (e.g. high-load bikes)
  • a concept for management of the system and organisation of the necessary infrastructure and settlement structure.


Project Partners

  • Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Harald Frey, TU Wien - Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften (Projektleitung)
  • Mag. Dr. Bernhard Rothbucher e.U., aka buna design consult
  • Dr. Burkhard Stadlmann, FH O Forschungs- & Entwicklungs GmbH
  • Prof. Dr. Uwe Schubert, Institut für ökologische Stadtentwicklung

Contact Address

TU Wien - Institut für Verkehrswissenschaften
Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn. Harald Frey
Tel.: +43 (1) 58801-23117