Bottleneck on the last mile: by the time suppliers like this make it to outlets in the city, they are spending more and more time stuck in traffic.
That is why logistics service providers and local authorities are pursuing alternative approaches
Photo: mobilityweek.eu / 5th SUMP Award
The latest figures published by the European Commission make for pretty grim reading. “Congestion in the EU is often located in and around urban areas and costs nearly EUR 100 billion, or 1 percent of the EU’s GDP, annually.” According to the administrative body, this is exacerbated by the fact that 40 percent of CO2 emissions resulting from road transport and up to 70 percent of other pollutants from transport can be directly attributed to journeys undertaken within cities. And, what is more: on other continents, many of the far larger metropolitan areas are struggling with very similar problems.
In light of this dire warning, it is good to know that more and more cities are putting up a fight against this sad state of affairs. Things are happening in terms of urban mobility and last mile logistics. In 2017, for example, the Belgian capital, Brussels, won the European Commission’s award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) for its comprehensive concept that relies on freight consolidation centers outside the city and also on off-peak delivery times. Hungary’s capital, Budapest, also made it to the final round of the competition as a result of having launched a freight transport access-regulation system.
Logistics service providers, who are dependent on a properly functioning last mile while fully recognizing their responsibility for the environment, are focusing intensely on developing solutions. DB Schenker in Berlin, for example, is conducting tests with an electric-powered 12-ton truck; in several French cities, the company is using two and three-wheeled vehicles for its deliveries, and in the Swedish city of Gothenburg it is involved in a project whereby stores in the city receive their deliveries on foot. The company is actively working on additional projects and products designed to facilitate an urban mobility worthy of the name.