Southampton City Council (SCC) has invited a selection of operators to tender for the opportunity to run a Sustainable Distribution Centre (SDC) for the City region.
Over the summer, operators were given an opportunity to express their interest in being considered for the project. Following a pre-qualification exercise by SCC a short-list of suitable operators was created. The appointment of the selected operator will be announced in mid October.
The SDC will offer its services to Southampton and the surrounding regions including Winchester, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Totton and the New Forest. It is envisaged that customer goods deliveries will be received from suppliers 24/7, then either stored or grouped with other loads destined for the same locations, and delivered together, thus reducing the number of delivery vehicles travelling into that location. This will have environmental benefits by reducing carbon dioxide levels, particulates and nitrogen oxide emissions, while having a positive impact on congestion in the areas that the SDC operates.
Southampton City Council successfully secured £225,000 funding through the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund to kick-start the SDC. The council will use these funds over a two-year period to support the development of the operation through a tapered subsidy that will support its expansion and assist in it reaching critical mass.
Southampton’s Cabinet member for Environment and Transport Cllr Jacqui Rayment said: "We look forward to appointing a partner in October and working towards a launch of the SDC over the winter. The new project will bring many ‘green’ benefits to the city and surrounding region through enabling businesses to have a more environmentally sustainable way to receive their deliveries into an area, whilst offering a cost effective storage solutions."