DHL gives out-of-hours deliveries the thumbs up

DHL said it would jump at the chance to expand the amount of out-of-hours deliveries it makes in line with customer demand, but London’s councils need to support the move.

In response to the launch of The Roads Task Force (RTF) report earlier this month, Hugh Basham, director of transport strategy at DHL Supply Chain, said if the vision put forward was realised it would help tackle congestion in the capital.

“The Olympics demonstrated the ability for London’s network to cope with change, and the opportunity for shared user dynamic lanes managed by new and advanced technology to play a major part in improving traffic flows,” he said.

Basham added that recognition that spending on the capital’s roads is vital – and Transport for London’s (TfL) subsequent response and promise to spend £4bn on the network over 10 years – is excellent.

One of the RTF’s key recommendations is shifting freight deliveries out of the rush hour peak, and Basham told MT that, as part of a move to further operational flexibility, DHL would love to be able to run more out-of-hours deliveries, something post-Olympics that it has been forced to scale back by the capital’s councils.

“There were a lot of horror stories ahead of the Games about out-of-hours deliveries, but the industry proved this was not the case,” said Basham.

“At considerable effort and expense, we proved they could be done without disruption. There’s a lot to gain in terms of productivity and efficiency, so DHL would welcome the opportunity to do more out-of-hours deliveries. Ultimately, it is a prize worth having.”

TfL said it will commence additional out-of-hours delivery trials in the coming months to build the case for more flexibility in deliveries in a bid to get London’s 33 autonomous borough councils on side.