Clean Air Better Business helps organisations slash emissions and save costs through freight management

Clean Air Better Business (CABB) has launched a practical toolkit to enable local authorities, businesses and freight operators to understand what measures they can take to reduce emissions from their freight activities in the capital.

Organisations are encouraged to assess and improve their impact on London’s air quality and develop their own delivery and servicing plans, which can reduce HGV movements, realise financial savings through consolidation of orders, and enhance road safety and air quality for all city users.

Access to a zero and low-emission supplier directory, free eco-driver training and information about existing schemes to slash emissions and improve supply chain efficiency are provided in the toolkits, alongside advice on how to incorporate actions into procurement policies.

Case studies highlight successful initiatives already explored through the CABB programme and the benefits gained. For example:

  • The Bloomsbury, Holborn and St Giles Business Improvement District consolidated its waste collection service for 200 businesses with a hybrid vehicle. This reduced waste collection trips by 60%, or 84,000 vehicle road km;
  • A joint procurement deal between the Natural History Museum and Science Museum for cleaning and waste services has slashed costs and reduced the number of vehicles coming to the site.
  • James McNaughton opted for an electric delivery vehicle to replace its existing diesel one, which resulted in estimated savings of £5,000 in fuel and 14 tonnes of CO2 per year.

CABB is a project run by the Cross River Partnership (CRP) – a public-private partnership that was originally formed to deliver cross-river infrastructure projects such as the Millennium Bridge, but has since diversified to deliver a range of externally-funded, multi-partner regeneration projects in the capital.

For further information contact CRP air quality champion: Uto Patrick

UPS urban delivery projects address congestion and air quality in cities

UPS is undertaking a series of delivery projects in major cities worldwide to tackle the congestion, air quality and logistical challenges associated with the increase of people moving to urban areas.

The global parcel firm’s latest corporate sustainability report said that today, half of the world’s population resides in urban areas, but by 2050, two-thirds of all people will make cities their home.

It added: “The result is overwhelming congestion, local air pollution, and demand for goods, creating logistical challenges that will need both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable solutions.”

UPS said it is already working with its customers, governments and local city planners to develop plans for intelligent transportation systems and pushing for smart mobility and more agile city infrastructures.

For example in London, which already operates both a congestion charge and low-emission zone in the city centre, UPS is working with the EU’s Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project to transform its delivery network.

Part of this initiative has seen the parcel firms converting certain delivery trucks from diesel to electric power to eliminate tailpipe emissions. UPS is currently operating 28 electric vehicles in the capital, with 40 more planned in the next few years as it works towards its goal of running an all-electric fleet in London.

UPS also operates electric vehicles in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg.

In addition, the company will look to expand its UPS Access Point locations to drive down the need for individual home deliveries. These are central pick-up and drop-off points for parcels located at shops and petrol stations.

Final-mile consolidated deliveries are also a key focus for UPS as it looks to drive down vehicle miles. UPS said collaborating with local authorities and advocating standardised regulations among cities is essential to enable delivery firms to “innovate in the most efficient manner possible”.

The operator is working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Zero Emissions Cities project to promote global action to create low-carbon cities. It is also exploring the use of an electrically assisted tricycle called a Cargo Cruiser, which addresses both air quality and congestion concerns. It is designed to travel in and around pedestrian areas of a city by operating from a container that is brought into the centre once daily. The Cargo Cruiser concept has been tested in Hamburg, Germany (pictured) since 2013 and UPS hopes to expand this initiative to other cities by the end of 2015.


UPS: A Greener Blueprint For City Delivery

Bala Ganesh, senior director of marketing for the US 2020 Team at UPS, blogs about how future logistics models need to adapt to cope with surging city populations.

We need a new model of logistics to ensure those city dwellers get what they want, when they want it – and in a sustainable fashion.

By 2050, two-thirds of all people will live in a city. This means roads will get even more congested. Air quality in those urban areas will likely worsen. And the demand for goods in megacities will further test already strained transportation networks.

In some bigger cities, such problems have already surfaced. There are restrictions on when commercial vehicles can enter city limits. Some do so on even-numbered days. Others get the odd ones. And for many logistics providers, night-time delivery may become a requirement.

It’s not all that different from Ancient Rome, when wagons and carriages were barred from even entering the city during the day.

You certainly couldn’t blame city officials today for looking for ways to mitigate the effects of mass urbanization.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a doomsday scenario.

Forward-looking logistics companies like UPS have started transitioning to a model tailor-made for the cities of tomorrow.

The latest UPS Corporate Sustainability Report showcases how goods can flow freely in environmentally conscious ways, even in the world’s busiest cities.

A big-city twist on the supply chain

Strict travel restrictions in major cities can remove vehicles from the road during rush hour. What they can’t do, however, is convince a customer to receive a package only in the middle of the night.

So how do you create a distribution network that can dispense packages during the daytime without gridlocking an entire city?

The answer is multifaceted. And the solution has to be both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable.

As outlined in the UPS Corporate Sustainability Report, there are a number of ways to limit vehicle emissions and meet the delivery needs of those living in megacities.

Governments, customers and stakeholders all have a role to play in developing more sophisticated transportation systems.

Putting vision into action

For example, in London, where there is a congestion charge zone in the city centre and strict environmental regulations in place, UPS is working with the European Union’s Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project to transform its delivery network.

There are now 28 electric trucks operating in London, with another 40 expected in the next few years – the ultimate goal is an all-electric fleet in London’s city centre.

Across European cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg, UPS has nearly 80 electric vehicles meeting the needs of customers.

UPS recently started testing an electrically supported cargo bike for the delivery and pickup of packages in downtown Basel, Switzerland.

Such efforts extend beyond developing alternative modes of transportation.

You might be familiar with UPS Access Point locations, which allow customers to pick up their packages from a central area, such as a convenience store, effectively eliminating failed drop-off attempts – and reducing vehicle emissions.

In partnership with Shell, UPS has rolled out Access Point locations across the globe. These spots act as mini-hubs, enabling drivers to drop off a larger number of packages at once. This can happen during hours with minimal impact on traffic.

Augmenting these services is a growing focus on “final-mile” deliveries. Think of it as a ride-sharing program for packages. Bicycles, push carts and other economically friendly modes of transportation can handle the last leg in a given supply chain, helping delivery trucks avoid the most congested areas in a city.

The rise in urban consumer spending creates a growth opportunity if you make cities more sustainable.

Sustainable teamwork

This is not a task that an individual business, or even a number of the world’s largest companies, can accomplish without help.

Governments, customers and stakeholders all have a role to play in developing more sophisticated transportation systems, capable of fitting seamlessly into a city’s infrastructure.

Our approach is to engage with city officials and provide thought leadership as we work toward collaborative solutions, advocating for the harmonization of regulations so that delivery companies can innovate as efficiently as possible.

The mass migration to cities isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Neither should your work to construct a supply chain flexible enough to meet a city’s demands.

This steady increase in urban consumer spending is a huge opportunity for growth. But that’s only if you make the cities where customers live more sustainable.


CIVITAS urban transport projects focus on clean fuels, reducing impact of freight and tackling city congestion

A series of sustainable urban transport studies will take place as part of the latest phase of the EU co-funded CIVITAS initiative.

CIVITAS – which takes its name from city, vitality and sustainability – was launched in 2002 to help shape transport measures and policies and create cleaner, more efficient transport in cities.

It has helped introduce measures to make urban transport more eco-friendly in more than 60 European metropolitan areas, dubbed ‘demonstration cities’.

Examples include a new traffic control system in Bologna, Italy and a waterborne goods operation in Bremen, Germany.

The EC has now called on CIVITAS to carry out projects in three key areas: transforming the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban areas; reducing the impacts and costs of urban freight; and tackling city congestion.

Around 40 million euros in co-funding has now been granted for 10 chosen projects, with four focusing directly on the urban freight sector. They are:

  • CITYLAB: will support cities and private companies developing new services and business models for improved sustainability and profitability of their logistic activities.
  • NOVELOG: will enable city logistics policy formulation and decision-making as part of the city’s sustainable urban mobility planning, and support implementation and adoption of appropriate measures.
  • SUCCESS: will improve knowledge and understanding of freight distribution and service trips for the construction sector and demonstrate impacts in terms of transport and environmental efficiency.
  • U-TURN: will identify opportunities for collaboration and innovative logistics sharing strategies and showcase their impact and results.

Further details about each scheme are expected to be announced shortly.

The latest phase of the CIVITAS initiative is scheduled to run until 2016, and more cities are encouraged to collaborate with their European counterparts by taking part in the scheme.

Birmingham City is the latest UK member to sign-up, joining 17 other UK local authorities and organisations already on-board with the scheme.

For more information about the projects or how to join the UK network, contact or call 01543 416416.


Industry experts and top academics to speak at Freight in the City Expo

Industry experts and top academics heading up successful urban logistics projects from across Europe will be speaking at the inaugural Freight in the City Expo this autumn.

Driving down harmful emissions will be the focus of seminars in the ‘Clean’ arena, asking how far national governments and local authorities have to go to achieve acceptable levels of air quality. Speakers will explore viable alternative fuels for commercial vehicles, whether low-emission zones can be an affective tool, and how you can improve your CSR rating and prove its credentials with the correct practices.

Delegates interested in making freight deliveries safer in their city centres for all road users can find out which equipment really works on their fleets, how to ensure your vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with the latest regulations, such as London’s Safer Lorry Scheme, and learn how town design and infrastructure can improve shared road space.

Finally, those visitors attending the ‘Quiet & Efficient’ seminars will hear experts exploring what the cities of the future will expect from urban freight movements and how they will cope with increasing demand for home deliveries and the growing convenience store trend. Consolidation, last-mile deliveries by low-emission vehicles and out-of-hours operations are likely to increase, but find out which one will work best for your city.

The Freight in the City Expo takes place on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace. Register now to receive updates and the latest urban freight news.

Viewpoint: InPost UK’s Ian Caminsky on how locker boxes can reduce number of parcel deliveries in towns

Ian Caminsky, CEO of InPost UK, explains why he believes automated, click and collect locker boxes could be an effective way to reduce the amount of delivery vehicles in city centres as the online sales sector continues to expand.

“The fast-growing trend towards online flash sales such as Amazon’s Prime Day is clearly good news for consumers from a price perspective, in this case promising larger discounts than Black Friday. However, this increase in online sales and orders as a result of the surge in demand has in the past presented a series of logistical challenges for carriers.

“One obvious solution to this problem is for retailers to offer shoppers a full range of delivery and click and collect options. Rather than couriers having to deliver to a number of home addresses, emerging delivery solutions such as automated click and collect lockers help to make the delivery experience overall more convenient by providing one parcel drop-off point rather than several.

“Fewer drop-off points can make a big difference as they allow couriers to be more time, fuel and cost-efficient while shoppers get their hands on their purchases at a time to suit them. Retailers also benefit from helping to reduce delivery chain pressures and from minimising the impact on customer services and reputation more generally when packages are not delivered as promised.

“The retail industry has an opportunity to adopt solutions that help make services easier and more efficient for both consumers and courier services, particularly during peak delivery times. In doing so, couriers, retailers and consumers alike can benefit from a more reliable and convenient delivery experience, ensuring that consumers not only receive great discounts on days such as Amazon’s Prime Day but also receive their packages quickly and at their own convenience.”

  • InPost was founded in 2006, by Rafal Brzoska in Poland and has become one of Europe’s largest private postal operators.Its UK operation launched in early 2013 and now comprises more than 1,000 lockers nationwide offering 24/7 automated access at locations such as supermarkets, train stations, Transport for London sites and outside retailers’ stores.

London operators hit with lion’s share of PCNs, yet 70% successfully challenged at appeal

London goods operators are five times more likely to receive a parking ticket in London than anywhere else in the UK, according to a Freight Transport Association (FTA) survey.

Data from 85 companies that were issued between them a total of 16,043 tickets showed that 80% stemmed from London, with those fines also eight times higher than elsewhere.

A separate analysis showed a success rate of more than 70% when tickets in London were challenged.

FTA head of policy for London Natalie Chapman said this highlighted the fact that civil enforcement officers often handed out PCNs when drivers were delivering goods rather than illegally parking.

“Just because a truck is in a loading bay with its doors locked doesn’t mean it’s parked. The driver may have gone inside to get paperwork signed, or secured his lorry while making contact with the consignee,” she said.

“Better training is needed for enforcement officers to ensure they don’t ticket vehicles without just cause. Some operators are forced to employ people just to challenge tickets, or they pay a PCN appeals service to manage it for them.”

Low-Emission Commercial Vehicle plan to stimulate uptake of greener fleets in London

Transport for London (TfL) yesterday (22 July) announced a series of measures for freight operators, businesses, manufactuers and local authorities to boost uptake of low-emission goods vehicles in the capital.

In its Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Delivery Plan, TfL said it aimed to overcome the challenges and explore opportunities for stimulating greener technology and refuelling infrastructure in the commercial vehicle sector.

A Low-Emission Commercial Vehicle Programme would be launched this summer to co-ordinate these actions.

TfL noted that there was an enormous variation in the types of vehicle in this market, ranging from those with large depot-based fleets, through to sole traders with vehicles also used as private vehicles.

There were also issues with the vehicles themselves, with the additional weight from batteries impacting on the available payload and the higher up-front costs for van operators.

However, as commercial vehicle investment decisions are made on whole-life costs, TfL believed ULEVs could be attractive to fleet managers and business owners responsible for reducing fuel costs.

TfL said it would look to build on the relationships with the freight industry it had already established through the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety programme and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme to help operators and receivers of goods minimise the impact of their deliveries on air quality.

It planned to lead by example by including environmental standards within its procurement requirements; inform and support fleet operators, boroughs, vehicle manufacturers and cleaner fuel suppliers to increase availability and uptake of low-emission CVs and their fuel needs; and prepare the frieght sector fot the launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2020.

Local boroughs should look to use local policy measures such as priority loading and micro-consolidation that uses ULEVs for last-mile deliveries to incentivise uptake among businesses and freight operators, as well as requiring their own suppliers’ vehicle to meet environmental standards.

Industry was urged to invest on the development of cost-competitive commercial ULEVs, while the government was called on to review the regulations on payload to help solve the issue of battery load taking payload over 3.5 tonnes in some instances.



UK cities can adopt viable last-mile delivery schemes for no cost by tapping into existing research

A series of last-mile logistics schemes trialled successfully across north-west Europe can be shared and rolled out across UK cities with little or no adaption cost, according to researchers.

The LaMiLo project – which stands for last-mile logistics – was launched as a means to boost efficiency in the final leg of a freight journey into city centres.

It wanted to find feasible options for reducing the amount of individual, small deliveries made in separate vehicles into city centres – a result of the increase in e-commerce that has seen many logistics firms extend their supply chains down to the end user. This has led to additional vehicles on the roads, more congestion, air and noise pollution, as well as proving inefficient when customers are not at home.

“LaMiLo wants to show new possibilities for city logistics over the last mile by understanding and influencing the actions of all those involved – those of private companies, the public sector and customers,” says PTV project manager Philipp Lenz.

The first objective was to isolate the challenges and the barriers that have hindered the adoption of a common course of action in city logistics until now, he added.

In the process, it became clear how important it is for the public sector to address the problems in urban commercial traffic, working in cooperation with both companies and suppliers. This can be done, for example, by creating unloading zones specially designed for the needs of consolidated deliveries, or by setting up a common platform for all parties involved to promote co-operation and provide a clear overview of costs. Cost transparency alone can help many companies to quickly understand the benefits.

Trials involved in LaMiLo included:

The LaMiLo project now hopes other cities will be able to roll-out similar schemes by using the accumulated knowledge from the trials to apply the last-mile models at little cost.

An awareness of logistics and of the environmental and social impacts of freight transport should become a higher priority for cities, urged researchers, because where local governments lead, others will follow.

The LaMiLo project is an INTERREG IVB North-West Europe project partly financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in which 13 partners from seven north-west European countries took part. Organisers and researchers from the public and private sectors worked together to make the last mile sustainable and more efficient.



Freight in the City Expo attracts big name exhibitors

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo is already attracting major industry manufacturers looking to demonstrate how fleets can be made, cleaner, safer and more efficient in their urban delivery operations.

Daf, Volvo, Isuzu and Iveco will be bringing along their latest urban delivery vehicles for visitors to explore, while technology giants such as Brigade, Tachodisc, Fuel Defend, Backwatch and Exeros will show you how to improve efficiency of your existing vehicles.

Representatives from the Eco Stars scheme will also be on hand to provide guidance to fleet operators on ways to drive down carbon emissions and make efficiency gains in fuel usage.

With more exhibitors signing up every day to take part in the expo, make sure you register today on to receive regular urban logistics news and event updates as they happen.

The Freight in the City Expo will be held on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace and comprise an exhibition and demonstration zone, alongside a comprehensive programme of seminars, panel debates and roundtables with industry experts.