If you buy logistics services or work with freight forwarders in urban areas, check out http://freightinthecity.com – a new resource designed to help those in the business to make deliveries as low-impact as possible on the environment. The goal is to minimise noise, emissions and safety risks in cities across the globe. The ethos of the organisation, founded by Road Transport Media Ltd, the promotor of Quiet Cities, is very much in line with the stated aims of the Lamilo project.
Cargocare Drives Sustainability
Cargocare is also committed to sustainability in the way we operate. While we need to work on an ongoing basis to improve our performance in this respect, we have successfully implemented work practices and business services that contribute to more sustainable ways to offer freight services. Earlier this year we wrote about our office equipment delivery and installation services for example.
And in the last month we have a new initiative that really does go the extra mile to reduce environmental impact – with the introduction of our new, small electric Renault vehicle which we use in a variety of ways in Dublin city. This energy-efficient vehicle is used to transport staff when an additional man is required on an installation job, it’s ideal to deliver small, time-sensitive parcels into the city and we use it to travel between small freight deliveries also. It’s costs significantly less to run than our other vehicles, it’s quick and easy to manoeuvre around the city and of course it is environmentally-friendly.
The hands-on experience of using electric vehicles commercially in freight forwarding has re-newed our vigour in introducing other initiatives so we’ve been taking a keen interest in the Freight in the City resource and the recent Expo held on 27th Oct at Alexander Palace. There were many issues discussed and we have considered some of these below….
Topics Covered by Freight in the City
Air Quality is a key health issue and the EU has used legislation to target pollutant reductions but most cities are not going to meet these targets. Irish and UK freight forwarders will play an important role in helping to reduce emissions through innovative transport options. Of course carbon emissions are a particularly important issue to address and fleet managers are taking steps to both monitor their emission levels and to reduce them. This involves taking short-term measures such as better logistical planning to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, as well as longer-term measures such as replacing older vehicles with more sustainable transport options going forward.
Alternative fuels are evolving and being tested on an ongoing basis and electric cars such as the Renault that Cargocare has introduced are proving their commercial worth – as well as their eco-friendly stripes. Other fuels such as gas and innovative engine designs like dual-fuel HGV’s are also well on their way to being used frequently by freight forwarders.
Consolidation of goods so that they are dropped off at distribution centres outside the city centre, then batched for delivery by location, is a concept which is gaining popularity. Not only does this reduce emissions in city centres, it also frees up transport lanes for cyclists and zero-emission vehicles.
Out-of-hours Deliveries help to improve fuel efficiencies, reduce congestion, lessen disruption for the local population and cuts the risk of accidents. Cargocare works carefully with clients to operate out-of-hours where preferable for the customer’s business.
Training for Drivers is naturally a vital aspect of improving sustainability and the performance of freight forwarders in relation to how vehicles impact urban environments. Awareness-building of the issues that drivers can address and training drivers in best practice is essential. With increasing numbers of cars and bikes using limited road space along-side HGV’s and other commercial vehicles, safety is one area where drivers and good driving practice influences the outcomes and with the right training, real safety improvements can be achieved. Of course Pedestrians are often the most vulnerable of all on our streets and town planners need to take time to look at the road infrastructure to make sure it accommodates all these users in a safe and effective manner.
- Routing is another topic to be considered. In the past individual freight forwarders have largely been left to their own devices to plan routes however now local councils and national road authorities are taking the lead and working with logistics companies and the business community to find ways to reduce the number of HGV’s and similar vehicles on the roads during peak commute times. Again this process will reduce the use of fuel and improve safety conditions for road users. Routing is also becoming more efficient with the latest software available which can take into consideration multiple factors, such as environmental impacts, current levels of congestion etc. – not simply the shortest route between A and B. In the UK Route Monkey is running trials with fleet operators at present, looking to optimise the use of vehicles across multiple operators.
- Maintenance is another area where there are sustainability benefits to be gained and again legislation on maintenance is designed to accommodate this; reducing fuel emissions through the regular servicing of vehicles for example.
The topics listed above represent just a whistle-stop tour of issues to be considered in relation to sustainability and freight forwarders.
Choose a Progressive Freight Forwarder ……
We’ve been in the business of freight forwarding for more than 30 years so we’ve handled a lot of logistical challenges over the years! Throughout the good times and bad; we’ve worked hard to operate in a sustainable way and we recognise that we need to keep the momentum up in this respect. Our customers appreciate this approach and we have maintained an excellent relationship with our clients, many of whom have worked with us for decades. See our recent Ricoh case study as a sample of the great relationships we build with customers.
As we specialise in the British and Irish market, we’ve built a network of depots including two of our own; one in London and one in Dublin and two partner depots, in Kettering and Bristol. If you’re looking to partner with an expert freight forwarder, call now and learn how we can add value to your business.