Urban freight hubs could be a political vote winner, says London courier Fastlane

London-based global courier Fastlane International is calling on the UK’s political parties to introduce urban freight hubs to reduce congestion and emissions in city centres.

The parcel firm said the use of urban consolidation centres could be a vote winner, yet it has not been addressed by any of the major parties in the run-up to the general election.

Fastlane International head of PR, David Jinks, said: “A general election is the ideal platform for setting out bold ideas such as creating city freight hubs. Britain’s busy road freight network is essential to the success of our economy. However, it could be further improved by having HGVs deliver business, retail and domestic goods to freight hubs; rather than taking such large vehicles onto narrow city roads. These items would then be sorted and loaded onto smaller, greener, vehicles for final delivery into shops, work places and homes.”

He added that “in an election as tight as this one”, issues such as the development of urban hubs would be a bold idea to capture voters’ interest.

“In the first four days of January this year, London’s Oxford Street hit its entire air pollution legal limit for the year. Clearly a rethink is needed, and when is a better time for a clear political lead than at a general election?” said Jinks.

Frankonia uses SevenEye to boost London multi-drop deliveries

London speciality baker Frankonia The Bread House has fitted SevenEye tracking technology to its three new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans working on multi-drop operations in the capital, which it said has helped enhance its customer service levels.

The speciality bread delivery operation requires vans to make between 60 and 90 drops per day, six days a week to restaurants and hotels on busy London streets.

Frankonia said the SevenEye tracking system enables the company to monitor the performance of the driver and accurately pinpoint the location of its vehicles, as well as an exact time of delivery in a densely populated street, which is critical for its early morning deliveries.

Kevin Devine, company secretary at Frankonia, said “We were able to set up the SevenEye tracking so that the data is broken down to very precise levels. Many of our customers are clustered very close together. In fact, on some roads in central London, we deliver more or less to every Gentleman’s Club, hotel or restaurant on that particular road.”

Frankonia specified the SevenEye Vehicle Tracking equipment from Seven Telematics, as well as upgrading the tracking system to include CANbus Integration.

It also uses SevenEye’s Geo-fencing function, which in addition to informing Frankonia of a delivery of bread to a customer, also sends text messages to that particular customer, which Devine said is a hit with end users: “In a busy top London hotel kitchen for example, this facility is incredibly useful to the chefs and makes their life so much easier within their hectic work environment.”


New out-of-hours delivery guide aims to garner residents’ buy-in

The government has developed Quiet Deliveries guidance to help local communities and residents understand how out-of-hours deliveries work, the benefits they can provide, and how they can have a say in the planning process.

Advice complements an existing series of DfT guides designed for other stakeholders considering out-of-hours deliveries, including freight operators, retailers and the construction sector, following the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme trial in 2010-2011 and further pilots during the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Benefits promoted to communities include reduced congestion, alongside road safety and air quality enhancements resulting from fewer peak-time deliveries.

“We hope that through the use of this guide that this will help local communities in their understanding of what a good quality, well-managed Quiet Delivery Scheme looks like, and for them to be able to work proactively with retailers, freight operators and developers alike.”

Earlier this week, TfL urged operators and businesses to explore re-timed deliveries while its £4bn Roads Modernisation Plan took place in the capital.

Scottish Government has “no plans to introduce road user charging”

Scottish Government officials have rejected a call from the Committee on Climate Change to bring in congestion charging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The committee’s call was made last week in its fourth report on Scotland’s progress towards meeting emissions reduction targets. In it, the committee noted that emissions from HGVs accounted for 16% of Scotland’s transport emissions, and emissions from vans for a further 10%. It went on to suggest that in order to encourage more sustainable travel habits, the Scottish Government “should consider other options to drive down emissions, such as congestion charging”.

Given that speed limits are likely to be fully devolved to Scotland in the future, it should also evaluate how they might be used in future to help meet carbon targets, said the committee.

In response, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said it intended to carry on dealing with the issue in other ways.

“The Scottish Government has no plans to introduce road user charging,” she said. “Our vision is to work to develop low-carbon vehicle technology, promote active travel choices and encourage a shift to public transport, while ensuring our road network is as efficient as possible.”

Speed limits and their enforcement will form part of a road safety strategic review in Scotland later this year, she added.

RHA director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Martin Reid, said it supported the Scottish Government’s stance on the issue as congestion there was “not on the same scale” as other parts of the UK where congestion charging had been introduced.

“It’s important to ensure road haulage provides an efficient and environmentally friendly service that promotes wealth creation and employment in Scotland and we want to reduce carbon emissions,” he said. “But we agree with the Scottish Government that congestion charging is not the best way forward.”

FTA head of urban logistics and regional policy Christopher Snelling also backed the Scottish Government’s rejection of the plan.

“It’s certainly the wrong way to try and deal with carbon emissions – after all, it’s a congestion charge, not a carbon charge. It’s about effective management of urban areas, and not primarily about carbon,” he said.

Encouraging car drivers to use alternative modes of transport was an important part of freeing road space up for essential users like disabled drivers, tradespeople, freight vehicles and buses, agreed Snelling. “But congestion charging is not the right way to go about that because inevitably, it includes everything,” he said. “There are much more imaginative ways to go about managing car use.”
Read more at http://motortransport.co.uk/blog/2015/03/26/scottish-government-rejects-call-for-congestion-charging/#MuYVKFvwWQTVhe4r.99

Video highlights last-mile delivery pilots across European cities

An EU-funded project exploring sustainable last-mile deliveries has launched a video to highlight a series of pilots taking place across cities in north-west Europe, including London.

The LaMiLo scheme, comprising private logistics firms, local authorities and researchers, is aiming to demonstrate the economic, environmental and social benefits of consolidating deliveries and using more eco-friendly transport options for the final mile, such as electric vans or bicycles.

Ian Short, chief executive at the Institute for Sustainability in the UK and LaMiLo lead partner, said: “While most organisations extend their supply chains to large retailers, many do not focus on last mile deliveries to homes or smaller shops. Finding solutions to manage the last mile of deliveries that work for businesses, consumers and the environment is increasingly important as the way we shop continues to evolve.  With 60% of home deliveries failing, the Institute has been working with partner organisations on a range of pilots to look at how the process can be streamlined.”

In the UK, the video shows how the London Boroughs Consolidation Centre based in Edmonton, headed up by Camden Council and currently operated by DHL, serves deliveries from more than 70 suppliers into 300 council buildings in the capital.

The video also looks at a public-sector-run consolidation centre pilot in Brussels that is managing retailers’ goods for consolidated delivery using low-emission vehicles and demonstrating how both private and public sector organisations can work together towards efficient and sustainable urban logistics ; and in the Netherlands testing a potential solution to the issue of failed deliveries to consumers. This includes delivering goods at a convenient time and offering a service to collect valuable, recyclable waste on the return journey.

Also highlighted is the work being done through the project to engage with private and public sector organisations, as well as end users, to understand their main constraints for change and help influence their behaviour to adopt more efficient and sustainable practices.

By measuring the environmental impacts of the pilots and sharing the learning, LaMiLo said it will be able to achieve more efficient and coordinated freight deliveries, which, in turn, will translate into fewer trucks on our roads, reduced costs and better air quality.

TfL launches out-of-hours deliveries toolkit at Quiet Cities

New guidance for fleet operators considering out-of-hours deliveries was launched by TfL at Quiet Cities yesterday

‘Getting the timing right’ is a toolkit for all stakeholders involved in re-timing freight deliveries – including hauliers, local councils and businesses – and outlines the benefits and issues to consider when rescheduling deliveries, from finding suitable sites and staffing issues through to engaging with local residents.

It is an industry-led guide that pulls together all the lessons learned and data gathered by the Re-timing Deliveries Consortium, which comprises TfL, freight operators, retailers, trade associations and several London boroughs.

It outlines benefits for operators as:

  • Fewer PCNs by delivering at times when restrictions do not apply
  • Fuel savings, by avoiding congestion
  • More efficient use of fleet
  • Less stressful journeys for drivers

However it urges operators to take into account the following considerations:

  • Analyse delivery options
  • Talks between customers and local authorities
  • Identifying suitable locations
  • What customer requirements are for each delivery
  • The impact on whole supply chain
  • Staff training
  • Equipment investment

London’s Transport Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy (pictured), said: “London, through the 2012 Games and the Re-timing Deliveries Consortium, has proved that innovative attitudes can have a real impact. Moving deliveries to the right time will make the difference, improving road safety and relieving pressure on congestion.

“The sheer number of people at the inaugural Quiet Cities event shows that the appetite for this change is there, not just in London, or the UK, but across the globe.”

Tim Slater, MD of Transport UK & Ireland at DHL, said: “By sharing best practice and innovative technologies, such as our new concept vehicle, retiming of deliveries to out of the peak can become a reality; ensuring reliability, easing congestion and improving road safety.”

A Quiet Cities delegate from Tesco revealed that working with the Re-timing Deliveries Consortium had enable the supermarket to move 45 stores in London to accepting night-time deliveries, while a Sainsbury’s representative stressed that collaboration across the whole borough is key, as something as simple as adding a dropped kerb can enable a new access point for out-of-hours unloading.

Delegates also wanted to find out more about individual case studies, as well as calling for construction freight to be included in future research. Some also asked about the possibility of a required standard to adhere to, so as to ensure compliance from all operators.

By Hayley Pink

Quiet Cities 2014 closes on a high

Day two of Quiet Cities concluded the global summit, providing delegates from logistics operators, logistics customers and policy makers and implementers with solutions to enabling out-of-hours deliveries.

As well as hearing presentations from event partner DHL, the Noise Abatement Society and Volvo Trucks delegates were able to explore a variety of low noise technologies exhibited in the shadow of Twickenham stadium.

Natalie Chapman, head of policy – London – at the Freight Transport Association, also revealed some of the details behind the Retiming Deliveries Consortium in the capital, that has been engaged in out-of-hours delivery trials with Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s in the boroughs of Camden, Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea.

Chapman said that the consortium had faced multiple challenges since its launch in January, ranging from local elections to nervousness about resident complaints, but conceded that moving to retimed deliveries would not be a quick process: “It requires a lot of buy-in at all levels,” she said.

She also revealed that Transport for London would be providing a matchmaking service for London Boroughs and businesses in order to facilitate out-of-hours deliveries. Interested parties should email freight@tfl.gov.uk to find out more.

Tim Slater DHL

Tim Slater, managing director, transport UK and Ireland at DHL Supply Chain (pictured above), said that all stakeholders in out-of-hours deliveries needed to “raise the bar in standards, be it vehicles, training or behaviours” adding  that DHL had “a leadership challenge” and that together, with all parts of the supply chain, “we can shape the future of logistics”.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, posed the question: “Other forms of environmental pollution are not tolerated? So why not noise?” while Per-Uno Sturk, the noise and vibration specialist at Volvo Trucks explained it would require ten trucks built today to make the same amount of noise as one truck built in the 1970s.

Sam Clarke, director of Gnewt Cargo, explained to delgates that the delivery specialist was already handling a large volume of goods seven days a week, and unlocking the out-of-hours delivery window would make up for the absence of an eighth day.

Outside Brigade Electronics; Carrier Transicold; Daf; DHL; Michelin; Moffett; Paneltex,  Transdek and Route Monkey showcased a wide variety of low-noise technologies including DHL’s ‘city-safe, city-quiet’ truck.

Brigade showcased its broadband reversing alarms, while Carrier Transicold showed one of its range of PIEK-compliant refrigeration systems. Mitchelin’s new X Multi D range of tyres have a 5 db reduction in noise levels while Moffett’s electric truck-mounted forklifts run at a noise level below 60 db (A).

Paneltex showed an electric 5.5t Isuzu Forward that runs of Kuehne + Nagel’s contract with Whitbread that has a range of 120 miles while Transdek demonstrated the capabilities of its Double Deck Urban Eco Trailer, that has 100% more load capacity than a typical 18-tonne rigid.

Silent Daf

Daf exhibited the CF Silent, which runs at a noise level of no more than 72 db(A). Engine software limits the torque and engine speed, while gears are changed at a lower engine speed reducing revving.

Route Money outdoors

Meanwhile Route Monkey showed the capability of its planning and scheduling software in a BMW i3 (pictured above). Goodyear, IMS, Jimmy Beam Down Lights and K Hartwall also exhibited in the indoor areas at Twickenham stadium.

Successful start to Quiet Cities 2014

London at dawn

Over 200 delegates at the first day of Quiet Cities 2014 were told that the nature of urban freight must change in order to meet the multiple challenges of the 21st century.

In the first day of the two day global summit, delegates heard speeches from Lord Digby Jones and Sir Peter Hendy, while Stacey Hodge, director of the Office of Freight Mobility at the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDoT)  joined via videolink.

All were united in outlining the booming population of global urban centres, the demand from those people as consumers for immediate satisfaction, and the need for business and government to deliver solutions to these problems.

Ian Wainwright

Ian Wainwright (pictured above), head of freight and fleet programmes at TfL – which proved that out-of-hours could work during the Olympics in 2012 – said: “London is changing, and so is the way we deliver freight. There is rising demand from more customers, and the population of London will rise by 1.7 million by 2031. Doing nothing is not an option. We have to do something different.”

However he did explain that 47% of HGVs in peak congestion hours were involved in construction, and it would be a major challenge to alter that supply chain.

Jason Andrews, of Croydon Borough Council in Greater London, said that its population had doubled in 20 years, and that the town centre would see a large amount of construction activity in the city centre, with a new Westfield shopping centre set to be built over the next five years.

“Congestion risk is one of our biggest priorities,” he said of planning the challenge of such large scale construction activity. The Borough is expecting 14,000 HGV vehicle movements a month over the next four years.


Richard Fleming, logistics director at Sainsbury’s, said that the retailer now had more convenience stores (676) than supermarkets (595) and that was providing a specific urban logistics challenge, particularly as 50% of its convenience stores were subject to planning regulations.

“The consumer wants to shop more, and shop more frequently. That means we need to go [into city centres] more often with smaller loads,” he said, adding that its logistics operation – which comprises of more than 2,000 vehicles, needed to minimise mileage in distributing to this channel of retail.

“We take the ‘Silent Night’ approach. We need to respect communities,” he said.

Stacey Hodge, New York Dept of Transport

Hodge (pictured above) , of the NYC DoT, concurred: “We see opportunities for residents… and benefits for industry.”

Out-of-hour delivery trials have taken place in the city since 2007, with the 2008 recession slowing progress. The first tranche of trials involved retailers Foot Locker and Whole Foods, alongside food distributor Sysco – with drivers reporting that they felt more safe delivering at night in lower levels of traffic, and businesses reporting that vehicles spent less time being stationary, meaning more deliveries could be made by the same driver.

Now the NYC trial involves over 400 companies, including 72 of 121 Dunkin Donuts stores in Manhattan.

The global summit continues today.

Viewpoint from DHL: Transport’s challenge

Consumers and businesses take freight and transport for granted. It an essential part of daily life and keeps the country running, writes Tim Slater, MD of transport, DHL Supply Chain UK and IrelandDHL-Transport3Jun14-460

While transport is ingrained in our routines – it would be fair to acknowledge that we are not yet close to a perfect system with a number of challenges still facing our industry on a daily basis.
Congestion is a problem that every driver can relate to whether from a commuter or commercial driver’s perspective. And besides the frustration that jams cause, the impact of vehicle fumes on our environment is damaging our surroundings and o
ur health. City centres are particularly being targeted for improvement and this is further enforced by legislation for emissions, with a number of UK cities being vulnerable to heavy financial fines for missing targets.

Safety is paramount

Safety is always a primary concern and top of all of our agendas, especially in urban environments where there are other vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Freight vehicles are often bigger, heavier and noisier than the average vehicle, and in densely populated urban centres, noise pollution is a particular concern.
We need to address these challenges, so at DHL we’re aiming to make all our operations, safer, cleaner and quieter. By focusing on vehicle innovation, new urban solutions, increasing collaboration and improving safety performance, we can provide the most sustainable and efficient service for our customers and play our part in addressing some of the key challenges for our industry.

Vehicle innovation

Innovative design and technology within vehicles can simultaneously address a number of the challenges the industry faces, including safety, noise and efficiency.
DHL has invested in redesigning vehicles, reducing the power and fuel needed, for example efficient designs including aerodynamic tear-drop trailers, are now widely-used across our fleets.
Also by including vehicle telematics we have ensured our drivers are aware of how to reduce their fuel consumption. Similarly, we have developed mobile apps that support driver training, make fuel usage transparent and therefore encourage more efficient driving. As a result, our fuel economy has improved month on month for the past two years.
DHL’s global GoGreen commitment aims to reduce C02 emissions by 30% by 2020 and so we need to look to how we reduce our reliance on diesel.
As part of this commitment, we operate the largest dual-fuel fleet in the UK, alongside other innovative technologies including electric and hybrid vehicles to help improve our overall environmental impact.
Electric vehicles are also the quietest type of vehicle, and as such are likely to play a greater role in future urban logistics – especially as government is backing electric and hybrid vehicles with a £40m investment in rapid charging networks and this has the potential to make electric vehicles a suitable city centre transport solution.

New urban solutions_ISM0130

Growing cities are challenged to provide world-class living spaces and passenger transport while maintaining a vibrant economy. Achieving these aims simultaneously requires new approaches to urban transportation.
DHL is establishing consolidation centres throughout the UK to combat urban congestion and reduce vehicle numbers. Consolidation centres, sited outside of urban centres, ensure final-mile deliveries are achieved in the most efficient and safe way, using the most appropriate vehicles. Our experience shows that these operations can reduce deliveries and emissions by up to 65%.
The vast majority of urban customers want their goods in the morning, and at DHL we are increasingly performing out-of-hours deliveries as an excellent method of achieving this while at the same time avoiding peak-time congestions and separating freight transport from other road users. With the correct equipment these deliveries can be conducted in a quiet and sensitive manner. DHL is working with the authorities to create an industry standard for out-of-hour deliveries that will satisfy all stakeholders.

Increasing collaboration

Operating half empty lorries still remains commonplace in the transport industry, despite being a highly inefficient practice. In fact, the most recent figures reveal that 27% of lorries were making journeys with empty loads. Both internal and external pressures are pushing the industry towards improving this rate to 17% by 2050.
One way of driving progress towards this target is greater collaboration between businesses; by sharing transport resources businesses can cut their costs and their carbon footprint.
At DHL, we are continuously seeking to support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals and financial targets. As part of this work, we have identified potential collaborative partners (companies from the same or different sectors) and introduced them to each other supporting this new approach to sharing resources. One great success story from this is our partnership between Nisa and BP. Nisa now shares BP’s journeys for delivering groceries, resulting in £5.5m worth of savings since 2010.

Improving safety performance

DHL has also invested heavily in driver training. We do not settle for basic minimum qualifications, and believe continuous training is vital. In addition to the 35 hours of approved training every five years, we also train our drivers in Smith System Defensive Driving.
This world-leading programme has a proven five-step approach to considerate and safe road use. Our investment in this area has led to a 17% reduction in accidents and collisions over the past two years.
In September, DHL added an additional Driver CPC course called ‘Sharing the Road’. The module was designed by our Training Solutions team and was specifically aimed at raising awareness of vulnerable road users.

The future

At DHL, we’re already making progress on our safer, cleaner and quieter goals. DHL is really excited to be launching a new concept in the coming months as part of our work around the Quiet Cities Summit in November in association with TfL, Route Monkey and Motor Transport.
DHL will continue to invest in innovative vehicle technology, alternative fuels, accident prevention systems and driver training. We are particularly interested in developing new solutions for increasing city populations. This is incredibly important to us as we continue to ensure that DHL is a company both fit for the future and supporting the UK’s future economic and environmental health.

DHL: Collaboration is key to enable quiet deliveries

DHL is at the forefront of the revolution in out-of-hours deliveries, but Christopher Walton discovers why it believes there is still a long way to go until it becomes the norm. By Christopher Walton.

Every day DHL has between 1,100 and 1,700 vehicles going into London. The UK’s largest (non-mail) operator of CVs has approximately 8,000 vehicles, roughly, so that proportion reflects London’s 22% share of the UK’s GDP.

Because deliveries into the capital account for a significant chunk of its Supply Chain business, DHL is at the forefront of the changes taking place in out-of-hours deliveries in London and it led the way during the Olympic Games in 2012.

Philip Roe, MD, innovation, strategy and business development (UK & Ireland Transport) at DHL Supply Chain, told MT that it strives to be the safest, most efficient and customer-focused operator – and if it wants to hit those targets in a quarter of its business, it has got to be leading the way. “If there are things that are changing how that business runs, you have got to be at the forefront of that,” he said. “The Olympics experience and legacy proved that things can be done, and that collaboration can work well.”

Now TfL is making strides in bringing the issue back to the forefront of operators’ business models. Three new out-of-hours delivery trials are to start in London, the first of which includes nine retail stores, four in inner London and five in outer London, and will involve deliveries earlier or later in the day than those being made.

Roe said DHL has had a strong response from customers, and it has a number of customers that want to be involved. “All different shapes and sizes of customers, in different sectors too, not just retail, some in automotive for example,” he said.

Standard practice

All of which begs the question: if there is so much enthusiasm from authorities, operators and customers for out-of-hours deliveries, why aren’t they standard practice? “The case has not yet been made,” said Roe. “Most supply chains are established and designed against a cycle of order, receipt and stock. To disrupt that cycle and to change it means either a big event, such as the Olympics, or a big motivation. That’s why the case has to be made.”

That is why the industry needs the Quiet Cities global summit, Roe said. He wants the summit to be the spark that sees the industry rise to the challenge, and operate out-of-hours in an urban environment in a safe, clean and quiet way. That would mean regulators rising to the challenge of relaxing some restrictions. If this happened, Roe said: “Then we could create a case that is efficient as well as safe, and also meets customers’ needs. Only when we get to the point will we see significant change.”

Operationally, one of the biggest barriers is receipt of goods and how to conduct this out-of-hours.

There are some solutions that have been around for a while, for example, driver deliveries can be made into lock-ups or specified delivery areas (which is how most catering deliveries are done, said Roe). Increasingly some delivery locations in London are operating 24 hours, either for trade, replenishment of goods or for security reasons.“There is certainly not a silver bullet on any of this, but there are different solutions that could be employed. If the hours of operation can be extended, so you are running a vehicle over multiple journeys, then the efficiency case goes a long way towards supporting those extra costs,” Roe added.“Also, it is undoubtedly safer, because it encourages segregation between freight and other road users. It improves fuel economy because you are not standing in traffic, you are moving, and you are not burning fuel unnecessarily.”

Fuel economy is key in a city that is not just congested, but sucks in freight with very little manufacturing output going out of the city in return. Reducing empty running is critical to efficient urban deliveries, Roe said: “One of our customers requires an average of five or six deliveries a day into London, but we collect five or six deliveries’ worth of waste and bring it back and recycle it.That makes that lorry mega-efficient because it is full most of the time.”

However, the success of out-of-hours deliveries will ultimately come down to one thing, according to Roe: collaboration. That means collaboration between regulators, operators, the owners of the goods and the receivers of the goods. “It is fundamental. It is key to making this happen.”