With next year’s Olympics set to disrupt London’s supply chain for up to three months, anxiety among the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) London members is growing. Earlier today, Olympic preparedness topped the concerns of FTA’s London Freight Council members.
An additional £2.8 billion increase in spending by tourists is forecast from the Games. Naturally, to capitalise on this increased activity many retail businesses will be applying to stay open longer. However, the narrowing, and in some cases shutting, of standard delivery windows poses a significant concern to companies in the supply chain.
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said:
"Potential Olympic disruption is causing those in the logistics sector many sleepless nights. The Olympics and Paralympics will mean that for around 100 days the logistics sector will have more to deliver and far less time to deliver it in. We believe that part of the solution can be found in allowing more deliveries to be made at night time, but this will require a temporary relaxation of lorry bans from some London councils."
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. However, as well as additional restrictions on the Olympic Route Network, other controls and restrictions on freight vehicles in London are expected to remain in force throughout the Games period.
"We are advising members to think of the Games as a three-month Christmas trading period, with peak but unpredictable demand for goods and services overlaid on regular delivery patterns.
"The logistics sector can play the part of Britain’s Olympic hero and help deliver an amazing event that is memorable for all the right reasons. But more can be done to provide delivery flexibility and avoid landing operators with the dilemma of either breaking the law or keeping their customers happy."