While in the Netherlands we had two different conversations about freight. The first was with Amsterdam city planners and is the focus of this post. The second was with a freight forwarder and a representative of the Holland International Distribution Council (a trade association) and will be covered in a later post.
In the dense urban environment in Amsterdam, planners have a number of goals for freight distribution:
– improve accessibility be reducing the number of vehicles
– reduce ‘delivery nuisance’ for residents and road users
– increase loading rates
– reduce vehicle kilometers (and therefore fuel use)
– net neutral effect on economic health
Some of the techniques for doing this:
– Require vehicles be at least 80% loaded before starting delivery trips
– Limit length of delivery vehicles to 10 meters
– Create age and environmental standards for vehicles
They report that it’s working, without negative impacts on the economy.
Amsterdam is developing additional concepts to streamline urban deliveries:
– A “city box”, a container that is one-third the size of a standard container, but can be bundled in triplets as a standard container for rail or sea shipments
– Neighborhood package delivery stations, where you can securely retrieve your package, avoiding the need for a delivery directly to your door
– Programs to cluster deliveries for nearby retailers (e.g., the drugstore and the hardware store get a consolidated delivery, avoiding extra delivery trips)