Consultants in Logistics

Urban Logistics: Congestion, Pollution, Productivity

Urban Logistics: Congestion, Pollution, Productivity

Policies to reduce air pollution

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) introduced in Central London aims to reduce pollution levels by up to 45%. Initially occupying the same geography as the congestion charge, the second phase will expand to the North and South circular in 2021.

According to Transport for London (TfL) transport is a major contributor to London’s poor air quality, accounting for 63% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Commercial vehicles are responsible for around one third of these ‘transport’ NOx emissions and those not achieving the emissions standards will be charged £100 per day if they enter the ULEZ.

But London isn’t alone, 36 towns and cities across the UK are considering new methods to reduce pollution. Leeds city council has announced plans to implement a Clean Air Zone from January 2020. Although the scheme requires Government approval it is highly likely to be sanctioned. Birmingham, Nottingham and Southampton all have similar plans in place.

Reducing Congestion & Pollution

TfL have engaged with many hundreds of stakeholders and suggested some simple ‘tools’ for businesses to understand their requirements and options for reducing congestion and pollution.

  1. Understand your traffic flows, inbound and outbound, and measure the impact it has on pollution: Without understanding the scale of the issue, and profile of the traffic, it is difficult to prioritise activities and actions. A clear view of the issue, scale, types of traffic and options will maximise the impact and potentially improve productivity.
  2. Look to reduce the frequency of deliveries from your suppliers and by you: This is often easier said than done and, without some detailed analysis, could well increase your stockholding and cost base. However, there are options that could well reduce costs too. Perhaps consider engaging an expert for advice.
  3. Consider reducing the number of suppliers: Again, often easier said than done but with thought and care you could easily reduce your costs too.
  4. Reduce the number of personal deliveries: The rise in eCommerce has led to an increase in the number of personal deliveries to the workplace. One estimate suggests 30-40% of deliveries to workplaces are personal. Upscaling a post room or reception to deal with this volume increases overheads so a careful communications package, that encourages different behaviour, could reduce costs even more.

Tackling Urban Logistics Challenges

How do you embrace the challenge and take advantage of the opportunities that, with careful planning, could help improve your business, overall profitability and reduce congestion and pollution in some of our major cities?

  • An interesting example is the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT. Deliveries are received, sorted and consolidated in a single site on the edge of London, including the personal items for MPs. On a regular basis these consolidated deliveries are shipped in to Parliament on significantly fewer vehicles. This same service has been expanded to include other Government and Non-Government institutions in central London.
  • SQUADRON MEDICAL AND THE NHS SUPPLY CHAIN offer overnight deliveries in to Hospitals in London and other major cities.
  • LARGE CONSTRUCTION SITES are expanding delivery windows to avoid rush hour where possible.

‘Urban Logistics’ first - a healthcare hub for London

Our recent work with Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Trust has led to the initial business case being adopted for a Consolidation Centre on the outskirts of London. Suppliers will be able to deliver more easily, with fewer delays due to congestion. Flows to wards, wings, and theatres will be consolidated and sequenced, saving hundreds of ‘clinical staff’ hours dealing with fragmented deliveries and reducing vehicle numbers by 83%. Equally important, many thousands of square feet of storage and handling space in these densely populated hospitals will be released for more direct care services.

Whilst this is a niche supply chain example, the principles and benefits apply more broadly:

  • EASIER INBOUND DELIVERIES will lead to reduced purchasing and inbound delivery costs.
  • ON SITE MANPOWER for processing and delivery of inbound items will be released for other activities.
  • SPACE will become available for more added value services.
  • CONGESTION AND POLLUTION TARGETS will be met and exceeded whilst supply chain costs will improve.

Featured Articles

Consolidate Your Urban Logistics Operations

Fill out the contact form below or call us on 01327 349 090

For information about what we do with personal data see our Privacy Policy