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.

 

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.

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 seminar programme to provide practical, real-life guidance to improve city deliveries

The seminar programme is taking shape for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Split into three distinct work streams to cover all aspects of clean, safe and efficient urban logistics, the seminars will bring together operators, local authorities, businesses, industry experts and policy-makers to inspire delegates to push the boundaries of improving their city centre deliveries.

Presentations and activities will demonstrate the many successful urban freight schemes taking place both in UK cities and globally, and explore practical ways that can see such measures adopted at local level.

The clean work stream will look at the latest breakthrough technology available for making sustainable urban deliveries, such as viable alternative-fuelled HGVs and vans, and provide guidance on how to navigate the myriad of available grants and research to draw upon. It will also demonstrate real-life case studies of trials being carried out in partnership between operators, local councils and businesses and explain how collaboration is paramount.

Safe deliveries will be tackled in work stream two, which will cover the implications of existing and forthcoming legislation to urban deliveries, look at the latest equipment and training schemes to help delivery drivers navigate busy city streets, and examine how local authorities can work with all road users to help them share limited road space without incidents.

Finally, the efficient work stream aims to inspire delegates with innovative ways to get freight into city centres. Consolidation schemes, zero-emission last-mile drop-offs and out-of-hours deliveries are among the many successful schemes being used every day in UK cities to reduce congestion and make more efficient use of busy urban roads.

If you feel your company or organisation has the expertise to speak at one of our seminars about a topical urban logistics challenge, or there is a particular subject you’d be interested to learn more about at the expo, please contact laura.hailstone@roadtransport.com

You can also register to receive the latest expo updates and a fortnightly round-up of Freight in the City news via email.

Iconic venue for Freight in the City Expo 2015

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo will take place at London’s historic Alexandra Palace this autumn.

The iconic venue, situated high above the London skyline between Muswell Hill & Wood Green, first opened in 1873 on Queen Victoria’s 54th birthday.

In 1935, the BBC leased the eastern part of the building and the first public television transmissions were made in 1936.

In more recent years, the Palace has built a reputation as one of London’s premier event venues. With its beautiful setting with panoramic views of London, stunning architectural features and well-proportioned halls, the Palace is a popular choice for both corporate and private events. RYA-dinghy-show-2009-1000x6641

“We have selected Alexandra Palace as the venue for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo because it offers a fantastic exhibition space large enough for articulated trucks to drive straight into and it has great links to the M1, M25 and North Circular,” said Laura Hailstone, project manager of Freight in the City.

“Unlike purpose-built exhibition venues, Alexandra Palace has plenty of character and charm and will enable us to provide our exhibitors and visitors with a fantastic experience,” she added.

For visitors driving to Freight in the City Expo, the Palace has complimentary on-site parking for 1,500 vehicles. The venue itself is just 1 mile from the North Circular; 5 miles from the M1; and 8 miles from the M25.

For those travelling by public transport, both Wood Green underground and Alexandra Palace overground stations are close by, with a free shuttle bus running throughout the day of the exhibition collecting visitors from both stations and dropping them at the door of the Palace.

“The other bonus about the venue is that it provides us with the necessary infrastructure to set up a truck washing facility adjacent to the venue for any exhibitors showcasing trucks and vans,” said Hailstone.

The leading truck manufacturers have all shown a strong interest in exhibiting at the Expo. Details of confirmed bookings will be announced in the next edition of Freight in the City News (8 July).

 

 

CILT logistics conference tackles urban delivery challenges

The CILT Annual Logistics Conference in Coventry last week (18 June) tackled the rapid pace of growth and change in consumer behaviour in cities around the world, which is creating a serious challenge for urban deliveries.

Conference chairman Robin Proctor, group supply chain director, Travis Perkins, informed delegates that “90% of population growth is in cities and an astounding 80% of CO2 emissions originate from cities”.

There were distinct parallels between the cities discussed, with Dr Jon Lamonte, chief executive at Transport for Greater Manchester, informing delegates that Manchester is the third most visited place in the UK, providing the city with massive economical potential. He said the key question for Manchester was: “How do we grow economically but also sustainably?”

Lamonte spoke of the developments in the relationship between public transport and freight logistics and revealed that freight was not in his job spec two-and-a-half years ago, but emphasised the need for ‘joined up thinking’.

One of the key innovations in delivering the consumer-driven supply chain is out-of-hours and quiet deliveries. Brodie McMillan, logistics director, Whitbread, told delegates of the rapid pace of growth Whitbread is experiencing with particular reference to the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee aspect of the business. From 2007/2008 to 2014/2015 Costa experienced a 262% increase in customer delivery locations and an 80% increase across the whole of the business.

Whitbread delivers to 900 Costa Coffee locations every night. Brodie spoke of the importance of driver training and awareness in making this possible, as well as truck modification including quiet fridge motors, reversing beepers, rubber buffers all needing modification for night time deliveries. Brodie believes that “quiet delivery is becoming a brand value” and that “quiet deliveries are here to stay”.

Ian Wainwright, head of Freight and Fleet Programme, Transport for London (TfL), emphasised that this is a time for change and innovation and told delegates: “Your industry is changing beyond all recognition”. He told delegates of the lessons TfL learnt during the delivery of the Olympic Games: “We learnt the importance of talking to people and operators and being consistent with our message. Our philosophy for both moving freight and people during the games was reduce, retime, reroute and re-mode.”

The final topic of the day was the comparison of freight planning in London and New York with Stacey Hodge, director, Freight Mobility, New York City DfT and Joe Dack, transport logistics project manager, HDR. Delegates learned that the population of New York live in half the size of London, so there is a serious intensity in the space. One of the key issues for New York is accommodating growth and change, which is similar to London.

Hodge said there are more commonalities than differences between New York and London and highlighted that the cities should support each other in innovation, development and change.

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.

Europe to see more electric vehicle recharging/refuelling points

The European Parliament has approved rules forcing the establishment of more electric vehicle recharging points and alternative fuel stations on the continent.

In a vote on 15 April, it agreed to implement a new directive that will oblige member states to submit minimum proposed levels of refuelling and recharging stations, with EU-wide standards including the use of common plugs for electric vehicles and standardised refuelling equipment for hydrogen and natural gas.

Under EC proposals, just under 800,000 publicly accessible electric vehicle recharging points, all using a common plug, will need to be established before 2020 – including more than 120,000 in the UK. EC figures show there were just 11,749 points across the Union in 2011, including 703 in the UK.

The EC also wants LNG refuelling stations to be installed every 400km along the roads of the Trans European Core Network, and for CNG refuelling points to be available Europe-wide at maximum distances of 150km by 2020.

EC vice president Siim Kallas said: “This is a milestone in the roll-out of clean fuels in Europe. This vote sends a clear signal that Europe is putting clean fuels at the heart of its transport policy and the drive to develop a transport system fit for the 21st century.”

The DfT told MT this time last year that it supported the EU’s efforts to harmonise technical standards for alternative fuels but that it was “not convinced that setting targets for the deployment of technology-specific infrastructure is the most effective way of building consumer confidence in new technology”.