City Logistics


DHL Parcel boat service on the River Thames, London Having shown the effectiveness of combined land and waterways transportation in Amsterdam and Venice, DHL launched its daily riverboat parcel service in London in 2020. Parcels are sorted at a DHL hub and then transported to Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier by electric vehicle. From there, they are loaded on a high-speed boat and taken to Bankside Pier in Central London, where final delivery is completed via DHL courier bicycles. Around 50,000 parcels per year are delivered by river with plans to expand. The use of the river not only reduces environmental impact and road congestion but it is also reduces transit times compared with moving goods by road as well as improving journey time reliability.

• Public transport: including shared use of public transport such as trains for passenger and cargo movements • Waterways: greater use of rivers and canals could create opportunities to remove deliveries from roads, reducing congestion and environmental impacts as well as improving reliability of journeys, although there may be challenges in the short-medium term in terms of infrastructure, the ability to achieve economies of scale (and therefore compete with road on cost) and complexity • Electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities: especially as more cities implement restrictions on internal combustion engine vehicles • Aerial drone facilities: including dispatch facilities, landing stations and marshalling areas for last-metre delivery by bike/foot Cities are also likely to need new infrastructure including:

Of course, all logistics, including city logistics, rely on effective use of transport infrastructure. And in cities, not only is the demand placed on infrastructure high, it comes from a variety of sources and not just for the movement of goods. As cities move towards more sustainable, less impactful movement of people and goods, the way city logistics is delivered will continue to evolve. This will include making better use of existing infrastructure such as: • Roads and pavements: as the movement of motorised vehicles will become more restricted, especially as cities move towards pedestrianisation, more widespread use of cargo bikes and foot for final-metre deliveries is expected to grow. Cities may also look to create dedicated freight routes for goods moving into and around cities as well. In addition, use of autonomous vehicles (AVs) for deliveries on

roads and pavements may be more widely adopted. This could range from final-metre delivery by small robots / vehicles to the longer-term development of AV-specific freight corridors into and around cities.





Made with FlippingBook Digital Publishing Software