Freight innovations sought to solve the final kilometre

By Louis Blake

The City of Melbourne is looking for strategies to upgrade and update the ways in which freight is delivered and received in the CBD.

Some 840,000 people and nearly 9000 trucks visit the city each day. This means that more and more people are using the footpaths, roads and public transport each day.

If left unattended, this human congestion could have grave consequences for the efficiency of freight delivery within central Melbourne.

In a report, entitled Innovate Freight, the council sets out a program to improve the way in which Last Kilometre Freight (LKF) is handled in Melbourne.
According to the report, LKF is defined as the last leg of a product’s journey – be it office, supermarket, café or store.   

The overarching aims of the project are to  “foster innovative low-impact freight” and to enhance the overall effectiveness of freight in the CBD.

The council also hopes that by innovating deliveries it will be able to reduce costs, improve reliability, lower green house gas emissions and reduce the numbers of vehicles.

The council is holding a forum at Melbourne Town Hall at 7.30am on March 27.    For the full report, tickets for the forum and to leave feedback visit participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/projects/innovate-freight

The report also touches on the need to address the issue of loading zones being misused by delivery and non-delivery vehicles.  
The report puts forward a number of potential solutions. Among others, the report suggests the use of delivery centres in the outer central city where freight can be consolidated and then delivered by other means.

The report also suggests encouraging the increased use of bicycle couriers or the implementation of an after-hours delivery model.   

A draft plan will be submitted to the Future Melbourne Committee in August, with a final presentation scheduled for next year.

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