The paper reviews the study and use of urban consolidation centres (UCCs) which are a freight transport initiative intended to reduce goods vehicle traffic, vehicle-related greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. An international literature review has identified 114 UCC schemes in 17 countries (12 in the European Union (EU) and 5 outside the EU) that have been the subject of either a feasibility study, trial or a fully operational scheme in the last 40 years. The period from 2006 to 2010 has been the most active 5-year period in terms of UCC study, trial and scheme generation since the first UCC study was carried out in the early 1970s. Five countries account for the majority of all the 114 UCC schemes identified: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. The vast majority of UCCs serve either all or part of an urban area. Examples of UCCs serving a single property (such as an airport or shopping centre) and construction sites have also been identified. Key organizational, operational, and financial issues that are critical to the success of UCCs are discussed. The traffic and environmental impacts of UCC trials and fully operational schemes are also reviewed.