Operators can reduce their fuel bills and lower their carbon emissions if they are allowed to make out-of-hours deliveries.
The results of the Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) trials, unveiled last week, show a raft of operational benefits as well as wider gains for local communities.
Developed jointly by the FTA, the Noise Abatement Society, and the DfT, the QDDS involved trials at six sites belonging to Tesco, Superdrug, Asda, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, and Sainsbury’s.
Although only four of the trials were completed, there were still valuable lessons learnt. Two guides – one for retailers and one for local authorities – have been created.
FTA director of policy and communications James Hookham says: “We now have a toolkit to show how quiet deliveries can be achieved. It’s encouraging for those who want to extend their delivery windows. There are significant benefits to be had – both commercially and environmentally.”
QDDS project manager and director of TTR, Chris Douglas, points out that not every site will be suitable for night-time deliveries so retailers need to be realistic about where they introduce out-of-hours trials.
“But these trials prove that operators can undertake deliveries outside of normal working hours in a well-managed, well-controlled way and not upset local residents.”
The cost of investing in quiet equipment may put off some companies, but Douglas adds: “A small incremental reduction in noise can be achieved by behavioural changes alone.”
Wincanton solutions director Gareth Smith agrees: “For our silent deliveries for WH Smith we have invested only in training drivers on behavioural changes. We could invest in quiet technology but with councils reticent on allowing night-time deliveries it’s not in our interest to make such a huge capital investment in equipment.”
To download the full results, go to www.fta.co.uk. See MT 11 July for an analysis of the results.