Consultants in Logistics

The Role of Consolidation Centres in Urban Logistics

The Role of Consolidation Centres in Urban Logistics


One of the biggest challenges facing organisations in the UK is how to meet new emission zone regulations, reduce carbon footprint, and make our cities greener and cleaner.

By 2021 London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds all plan to introduce low emission zones, and increasingly there is an expectation on organisations to minimise their impact on the environment through reducing vehicle congestion and cutting their overall CO2 emissions.  In addition to this it is predicted that urban populations will increase substantially with London expected to rise by 8% from 8.8m in 2019 to 9.5m in 2026. The increase in urban populations will make it even more essential to reduce congestion and pollution to ensure there is no detrimental impact on people’s health and well-being.

Urban consolidation centres, or logistics hubs as they are also known, provide an effective solution for organisations to reduce their impact on the environment, along with numerous other benefits associated with consolidating inbound deliveries.

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Reduced Deliveries on Site Through Consolidation of Deliveries

  • Bulk items such as stationery, cleaning materials and parcel deliveries can be diverted to the logistics hub, then consolidated for delivery to site using electric vehicles. Up to 60% less deliveries to site can be achieved, with significant reductions in C02 and meeting ULEZ restrictions.

Reduced Congestion in City Centres During Peak Periods

  • By consolidating orders onto dedicated vehicles traffic flows can be improved by moving site deliveries to off peak times, reducing congestion in the day and improving overall control of when deliveries are made to site.

Improvements to Site Security, Health & Safety

  • Eliminating deliveries from suppliers and couriers directly to site improves security.  Couriers and suppliers are no longer required to deliver to site reducing the risk of unauthorised personnel having access to the building.  Where there is a significant threat of a malicious attack, for example media organisations, all items can be safely checked at the consolidation centre before delivery to site. 
  • There is a much lower risk of accidents around the building and surrounding areas with less vehicles and congestion on site, especially HGVs.

Improved Inventory Management

  • Consolidating items such as cleaning, stationery and engineering products at a logistics hub can have a significant improvement on inventory management.  It enables organisations to have a holistic view of all their inventory in one place. It’s often the case departments within one building have their own inventory holding, ordering at different times from different suppliers. This can lead to excess inventory and inefficient procurement practices.        
  • By controlling inventory from a central stock holding location it’s possible to look at all usage data that can reduce inventory levels as all orders are fulfilled from one location.  Procurement savings are made through buying in bulk for all departments at the same time. By identifying common products to reduce the number of suppliers and product lines, procurement savings can be made through buying in bulk for all departments at the same time.

Better Space Utilisation

  • Holding all inventory at a logistics hub can improve space utilisation and free up space on site that can be used for other purposes for example increased office space. Cost savings are achieved through holding inventory at the logistics hub where the cost per square foot is lower than in city centres where rates are at a premium.

How We Can Help

Our logistics consultants have a broad range of experience in developing urban consolidation centres for both the public and private sector, including Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital.  We will carry out a detailed study of your inbound supply chain, tailoring solutions to meet your requirements and improve final mile logistics operations:

Case Studies

Guys Case Study v3Taylor Woodrow v3



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