One of the elements that characterize the process of economic globalization is the development of freight logistics as a strategic sector to determine the competitive advantages of urban regions. This study analyses the link between market changes, state reorganisation and the development of urban logistics infrastructures. The entry point for this analysis is the study of the policies that have produced and governed over time two European wholesale food markets: the MIN Rungis and the General Markets of Milan. Their comparison explains how structural changes have influenced their evolution and why today two wholesale markets, which were initially very similar from an analytical point of view, have nowadays two very different policy outcomes. Using a theoretical and methodological approach based on the contributions of historical neo-institutionalism and urban political economy, the role of interest groups, political actors, political rules and the market is clarified. These factors are interrelated to explain the policy conversion observed for MIN Rungis and the policy drift in the case of Milan. Finally, the policy processes that led to these results are explained in terms of causal mechanisms. The analysis highlights the central role of local policy rules and political context in determining the ability of local interest groups to influence decision-making processes, and the effect of their mobilization on the development of these urban infrastructures.