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Since cities are the centre of economic and social life, transporting products inside urban areas is necessary. The survival of cities cannot be looked at without taking into account the position of goods transport. The understanding of freight issues and their possible solutions in developed countries much remains to be desired in cities of developing countries like India possibly owing to a lack of empirical evidence from such countries resulting in transport-related policies and facilities being planned merely from the passenger’s transport perspective without adequate considerations to the needs of freight transport. It also aims to facilitate decision-makers in assessing the importance of urban freight in making rational and informed policy decisions for transport infrastructure related to freight activity. The freight sector also faces several challenges such as congestion, parking for deliveries and reverse logistics (e.g., recycling and garbage collection), the lack of awareness, understanding and overall vision to urban goods movement. In addition, lack of information about the flow of urban goods movement, fragmentation in nature of stakeholders and gaps in skills and knowledge are also contributory factors leading to neglect of urban freight sector where freight logistics aspects related to supply chain linkages, storage, handling, distribution aspects including the modes used not given enough importance. The agriculture supply chain is rather unorganized and inefficient which is not very effective either and there is a lot of wastage during storage, lead times are high and security issues are not considered (Gupta, et al., 2018).

Importance of Urban Freight in Agri-Supply Chain Ecosystem

In developing nations like India, where the production of fruits and vegetables depends upon the climatic conditions, geographical locations and infrastructure is a major challenge in the Agri-supply chain with the provision of urban freight movement. The urban freight system is not only limited to the manufacturer/wholesaler to a distributor in the supply chain. It also provided the inputs (e.g. perishable products), processing the output (e.g. processing markets or distribution centres and perishable goods) using produce and transporting the products to the retailer or end consumer through the freight planning process in the wholesale market in urban areas (Naik & Suresh, 2018). For managing the entire Agri Supply chain of perishable goods through freight where various data needs to be collected for urban freight such as commodity flows, truck fleet, truck flows, vehicle km travelled, major freight generators along with the freight corridors in the city which helps in capturing the comprehensive collection of freight information for the wholesale market for efficient planning and management of urban freight distribution of agricultural produces. Freight Demand estimation is an essential stage in the agribusiness supply chain for adopting the approach involving the production, delivery, modal splitting and trip assignments of perishable products. The freight facility planning usually comprises freight consolidation centres, cold chain facilities, nearby delivery locations, truck terminals, and warehouses to cater for the demand of perishable goods to meet the supply of current demand as well as for projects in the future (Athul & Hemamala, 2015).

By and large coordinations activity represent about 7% of all-out GHG outflows, and inside the coordinations business, cargo transport represents around 90% of complete GHG emanations and 35% to 60% of coordinations costs. Inside coordinations, urban freight is one of the costliest and outflow serious portions of the graceful chain incorporates mechanical cargo. Commercial vehicles additionally represent around 30 to 50 per cent of air contamination, (for example, particulate issue (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), in urban areas in industrialized economies, and in excess of 50 per cent for urban areas in creating nations.

Truck Load – Wholesale Supply Chain of Mandi’s

The farm to fork model of mandi from procurement to distribution in the supply chain of agricultural produces affects the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain due to lack of efficient market linkages, lack of logistics infrastructure for perishable goods, cold chain systems that link the perishable produce with existing ready markets are becoming the major bottlenecks in tapping the potential, on-time delivery, high customer satisfaction and dissemination of technology, capital, knowledge among the chain partner, lack of suitable clusters of operations to support market-to-consumer links, losses during transit, lack of reefer vehicles, handling mechanism and packaging standards for moving the commodities where maximum losses account in the transit losses around almost 70% in the urban area.

The system distribution in Agri-supply chain drivers is the key performance measure across the network which leads to the effectiveness of agriculture products in the supply chain. It is also acting as an operating tool for the effective implementation of carrying out operations with the Agri logistics strategy in the supply chain (Rais & Sheoran, 2015).

This article tends to focus on understanding how the extinct indicators of Agri supply chain performance assume a significant set of stakeholders by locational advantage, logistics infrastructure, and policy imperatives. In urban freight distribution, key performances like- vehicle km travelled, tons per capita per day, tons per capita day, total ton-km travelled per day, average distribution costs per ton-km (INR), the share of freight network, freight fuel consumption/total transport fuel consumptions are important in freight distribution of agricultural produce to measure the performance of urban freight and evaluate them through various transport or supply chain models to develop a sustainable urban freight distribution of agricultural produces.

Based on the performance indicators identified for measuring the effectiveness of both urban freight and perishable goods in the city. It is found easy to identify the economic and environmental impact of urban freight and performance measures of agricultural produces affecting the freight distribution with lack of logistical infrastructure, lack of flexibility, reliability, responsiveness and food quality of the product. For performance evaluation of urban freight, environmental, economic and transport terminals with their operational details, terminal capacity, cost of operation, freight fuel consumption and vehicular emission are to be analyzed to provide effective solutions for urban freight distribution.


The study reveals the low truck utilization in the markets with the distribution of perishable goods in distribution centres dealing with Agri-supply chain performance metrics flexibility, responsiveness, efficiency and freight distribution measures to identify the challenges faced with markets linkages, demand forecasting, total transport cost and time per tonnage handled. There the freight modelling and SCOR model proposed in the analysis can help to estimate the tonnage handled for horizon year and increasing the efficiency in the supply chain. In order to implement this various stakeholder’s consultation between APMC markets and other departments to provide the holistic and sustainable freight transport operation in the study area to effectively utilize a truck by improving the vehicle utilization.

Way Forward

The low emission cluster-based distribution needs to be adopted in the city for an effective freight distributions system where E2W and E3W cargo vehicles are assigned to distribute perishable goods to specific distribution centres by

1. Developing a cluster of retail markets based on a location-allocation model with wholesale markets.

2. Supply of commodities by wholesale markets is sufficient to meet the requirement of clusters.

3. Adopting the technical approach in public-private collaboration where supply chain such as -packaging, pre-cooling, storage protection will bring importance to the operation of the supply chain.

4. Encouraging the use of low-emission cars to enhance operations and coordination.

5. Enhancing the efficient technologies, as well as restructuring schemes, will lead to a reduced number of freight trips in the city.


Athul, A. & Hemamala, K., 2015. Supply Chain of Vegetables - Perishables. Journal of Agricultural Engineering and Food Technology, 2(2), pp. 90-94.

Gupta, D. S., Ram, S. & Gopinath, A., 2018. Urban Freight Transport Planning and Management, India: Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India.

Naik, G. & Suresh, D., 2018. Challenges of Creating sustainable agri-retail supply chains, s.l.: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore Review.

Rais, M. & Sheoran, A., 2015. Scope of Supply Chain Management in Fruits and Vegetables in India. Journal of Food Processing & Technology, 6(3), pp. 1-7.