Fors creates industry committe to shape standards during national roll-out

The Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) has launched a Governance and Standards Advisory Group (GSAG) to champion the direction and integrity of the initiative as it expands across the UK.

It will ensure the scheme’s remit remains up-to-date with industry requirements and changing legislation, while ensuring industry support for Fors and safeguarding its standards and brand.

Initially, the group will comprise four standing members, a representative from TfL, and a nominee from the three partnership organisations that now head-up Fors since its move to private management in February: concessionaire Aecom, CILT and Fleet Source.

MD Jacqueline O’Donovan from O’Donovan Waste Disposal, which recently achieved Fors gold status for the fourth consecutive year, is one of the GSAG’s inaugural members.

O’Donovan said of Fors: “Being part of Fors has helped us continually improve our operations and investment in our fleet, as the information and support we receive is invaluable.”

Further appointments to the group are expected to be made from a range of businesses and interested operators to provide a broad range of expertise and knowledge.

The first GSAG meeting will take place later this week (15 May).

Fors last month celebrated its 3,000th member milestone since its launch in by TfL in 2008.

 

Croydon Council trialling Cycle Alert safety system on own fleet

Croydon Council has launched a six-month trial of Cycle Alert technology on three of its own HGVs as part of its wider drive to promote safe urban cycling on its streets.
Cycle Alert is an RFID sensory system to detect cyclists in vehicles’ blindspots. It comprises a wireless low-power sensor on the vehicle, a cab-mounted device to alert the driver of a cyclist’s presence and a tag fitted to bicycles.

Carole Crankshaw, regeneration development and environment department senior transport planner and biking borough programme manager of Croydon Council, said, “As the number of cyclists in Croydon increases, we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to help keep them safe, to educate and to provide the necessary tools for safe urban cycling.

“By piloting Cycle Alert in addition to all the other vehicle safety measures we have put in place under the Fors scheme, we are pioneering a safer Croydon for cyclists.”

Reliance of tags to be fitted to bicycles has come under fire previously from cycling lobby groups, citing safety issues for those cyclists not using tags, however Croydon Council said it will be encouraging take-up by providing several hundred free tags at local bike shops in the borough.

“We’ll review this trial after the six months are up, and then decide if we’ll take it further,” a spokesman said.

Peter Le Masurier, Cycle Alert founder, added: “It comes up time and time again, the issue of road user ‘tribes’ and a lack of accountability. Cycle Alert aims to help tackle those dogmas and opens the door to mutual respect on our roads.”

Operators should monitor cycle superhighway 2 route during construction works

TfL is urging the use of alternative routes during peak times while construction work to upgrade cycle superhighway 2 (CS2) takes place in the capital.

The upgrade will create a fully and semi-segregated route between Aldgate and Bow roundabout, including 11 cycle-priority junctions installed, including at Aldgate, Mile End and Whitechapel.

A vast majority of the route will be separated with a kerb, which will keep cyclists away from road traffic. Where there is less space for kerbed segregation, cyclists will be separated from traffic by pioneering highly-visible traffic ‘wands’ – regularly spaced flexible poles that clearly define the cycle track.

TfL has begun ripping out the existing central reservations to make new space for traffic during these works and significant safety improvements at key junctions along Whitechapel Road and Mile End Road are also now underway.

The start of the upgrade work on CS2 kicks off a major build programme of new cycle routes across the capital this year, including the North-South and East-West “Crossrail for Bikes” routes, which the FTA warned last month were being rushed through before the full impact on traffic flow and deliveries had been assessed.

The full upgraded CS2 route is due for completion by spring 2016.

TfL said it will monitor the route 24 hours a day through its traffic control centre, however, drivers are strongly advised to plan alternative routes to avoid delays, particularly during peak travel times. Live traffic information is available at www.tfl.gov.uk/trafficnews and on Twitter at @tfltrafficnews and @tflbusalerts.

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.

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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.

DHL launches ‘city safe, city quiet’ gas-powered concept vehicle at Quiet Cities

DHL has launched a compressed natural gas (CNG) concept truck, a Euro-6 two-axle rigid Scania P-280, at the inaugural Quiet Cities global summit in Twickenham today.

The bespoke truck has been designed to be safe, clean and quiet. It runs on a blend of natural and bio-gas, with the capability to run either fuel independently. DHL said that by running a blend of gasses in the engine it will see a 68% reduction in particulate matter (PM) and a 39% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) compared to an equivalent diesel Euro-6 vehicle over the life-cycle of the vehicle.

DHL door

The low-entry cab is fitted with additional side-windows to improve visibility, alongside a four-camera, 360-degree camera system, with an in-cab screen and hard-drive image recording to improve safety.

DHL tail liftNylon components and pneumatic technologies have been used on the roller shutter of the trailer, to reduce noise levels, while a Noise Abatement Society and PIEK-certified tail-lift, run on a motor operating between 60 and 65 db(A) also reduces noise. Furthermore, a directed, tonal, alarm – which allows noise outside the hazard zone to dissipate quickly, has been fitted, running at 5db(A). The tear-drop trailer was supplied by Don-Bur.

Tim Slater, MD, transport at DHL Supply Chain UK & Ireland, said that the truck was part of the operator’s commitment to making transport “safer, cleaner and quieter”.

“While I truly believe this vehicle will be transformational in driving industry towards a better future, DHL will continue to invest in innovative vehicle technology, alternative fuels, accident-prevention systems and driver training to ensure we’re always delivering the best service for our customers and supporting the UK’s environmental health.”

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