16 May 2011
Night-time deliveries will form a major part of logistics companies' plans next summer when the biggest sporting event in the world visits London bringing with it severely restricted goods delivery slots. But if businesses adopt best practice and work night-time deliveries into their long-term plans the benefits of transport cost reduction, more reliable deliveries and lower emissions will far outweigh the initial costs and effort, argues the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
FTA, in association with the Noise Abatement Society, has pioneered the development of quiet delivery techniques that could be used to allow deliveries to take place at times currently restricted due to planning or noise abatement reasons. It is intended that these be used during the Games period to allow more deliveries to take place at night.
Natalie Chapman, FTA's Head of Policy for London, said:
"The benefits of night-time deliveries are proven and irresistible; why waste time and money sitting in traffic when you don't need to? Following extensive trials with Sainsbury's and our work with the Noise Abatement Society we know that night-time deliveries don't have to mean disturbance for local residents.
"What the Olympics and Paralympics events will do is effectively kickstart interest in adopting this practice. But our advice to business would be to take the long view: this is not a sprint but a long-distance event."
At FTA's Managing deliveries and servicing during the Olympic Games conference this week, delegates representing logistics providers and users in and around London were keen to find out precisely how the Olympics and the Paralympics - which follows shortly after and represents the second largest sporting event in the world - will impact their service provision.
"Clearly, there is a lot of preparation that companies still need to do, and our conference was a good chance for individuals to ask Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority directly about this, particularly regarding accessing the information they will need to plan effectively.
"We have seen from previous Olympics that getting transport logistics right is essential to overall success. FTA will be working with TfL and the ODA to ensure that the unique challenges presented to our members by the Games - essentially more freight to deliver and less time to deliver it in - are manageable. Night-time deliveries could be a win-win for the Games and logistics."