Fora.ie reports that Dublin City Council and Belfast City Council have released a joint tender calling “on businesses to put forward ideas for more efficient and sustainable freight services.” The need to consolidate last mile deliveries to reduce traffic congestion and environmental impacts was identified in the 2016 Dublin City Centre Transport Study
€350 million a year in lost revenue
Dublin City Council has calculated that traffic congestion is costing the city €350 million each year in terms of lost productivity, not to mention the environmental damage. Several logistics firms are already realising the potential of ditching vehicles in the city, such as UPS Dublin who are moving over to cargo bicycle. Cargo bicycles have several benefits over vehicles – including ease of access to tight laneways (often used for deliveries), use of bus lanes and a reduced environmental footprint (… courier and logistic companies have struggled to balance their environmental scorecards).
Consolidated last mile deliveries
In practice consolidated last mile deliveries may require major capital investment by the government to remove delivery vans from the city centre and encourage private enterprise to engage in an activity which may reduce employment. At present the two most viable options would appear to be to 1). build large hubs on the edge of cities, consolidate to full truck load vans who then deliver or to 2). create loading bays closer to the city centre and offload vans to bicycle, electric van or foot couriers for the last mile delivery. The best solution may be a combination of both… or indeed an entirely new approach…
€100,000 for the best proposals
“Contracts for the first phase of the project are expected to be awarded to the successful applicants by July. Between four and five applicants will be given initial funding up to €12,500. Following a further proof of concept process, up to two applicants will be awarded between €50,000 and €100,000 as part of the final stage of the project.” according to TheJournal.ie – with the project being initiated by the Small Business Innovation Research Ireland (SBIR) programme.