Trucks, vans and commuters all use the same roads at the same times to and from cities. This could be organised differently. ‘Effective planning’ is the new mantra and ‘unnecessary driving’ is the new taboo. The pressure on margins and environmental legislation are forcing companies to cut down on mileage. Fewer kilometres mean less fuel, lower costs and less emission of pollutants.
The Arnhem-Nijmegen city region has been working for many years on improved accessibility and better utilisation of roads and rivers. The goal is to achieve 20 to 25% less regionally linked freight traffic during rush hours. This is possible by incorporating sustainable logistics solutions:
- clever cooperation throughout the entire chain
- bundling goods
- utilising more ICT
- developing applicable business cases for freight transport and urban distribution.
Smart bundling of goods means a reduction of shipments and is thus of economic interest. Stores need to be stocked and purchases over the internet must be delivered promptly. Trucks can deliver their goods at transfer points (hubs) on the outskirts of towns. Truck drivers need no longer drive into the centre of towns and can even avoid rush hours. Innovative logistics companies are therefore opting for LHVs (Longer and Heavier Vehicles) more often for transporting goods over long distances for delivery at the hubs.
Goods are bundled at the hubs and efficient onward transport is then selected. Not only smaller and cleaner trucks, but also electric scooters and bicycles will then transport the goods into the city and to their final destinations. These clean hauliers would be rewarded with special privileges, including increased flexibility in the permitted delivery hours in the city centre.
Advantages of bundling
- economic profit: fewer kilometres, less congestion, less fuel use
- improved accessibility to the region and the cities
- safe, clean and attractive cities
- fewer harmful emissions such as CO2, particulates and nitrogen oxides
- efficient and better reliability in delivery of goods
- retailers have fewer supplier deliveries
- more control for the customer.