Friday, May 2, 2014

Freight Interests Understand the Need for Quiet Logistics - But Do Their Principals?

Latest DfT Reports Identify Points Regarding Out of Hours Deliveries with which Road Haulage Contractors are Well Familiar
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Department for Transport has just released an online set of four new papers under its ‘Quiet deliveries: good practice, principles and processes’ guidelines giving advice to specific trade areas and one of these is targeted directly at freight interests with a view to shifting logistics operations, particularly in city areas, out of congested peak hours. Titled ‘Quiet deliveries good practice guidance: principles and processes for freight operators’ the thirty six page report acknowledges input from sources as varied as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Noise Abatement Society.

The three other titles, covering construction logistics, retailers and local authorities are also available electronically and all four recognise specifically the support of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and the Local Government Technical Advisors Group (TAG) National Transport Committee. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) comes in for a special vote of thanks and the conclusions of the report echo the views of thousands of freight forwarding and road haulage outfits in and around London and similar urban areas.

This latest DfT publication recognises that congestion and delays affect freight and retail business and also local communities, particularly residents, adding that ‘Quiet Deliveries’ schemes will provide a way to address these issues. The FTA has said it agrees that the multiple benefits of delivering out of congested peak hours are significant, but felt compelled to add that it is important that the process is properly managed. Natalie Chapman, FTA Head of Policy for London said:

“There are multiple benefits of shifting deliveries out of congested peak hours: improved journey times, productivity and fuel consumption; lower emissions and reduced risk of conflict between heavy goods vehicles and vulnerable road users. However, it is important that the process is properly managed to ensure that those living nearby are not unduly disturbed. These new guides will help all those involved to understand the process and the role that they can play in opening up the delivery window.

“The [2011] Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme was a ground breaking set of out of hours deliveries trials which proved the concept that deliveries can be shifted to earlier in the morning, later in the evening and into the night whilst protecting the rights of local residents to a peaceful night’s sleep.”

The thing one may hope for from such a report as this, is that it may open the eyes both of those effecting deliveries and collections, to whom the delays incurred during busy periods mean manifold extra expenses both financial and operational, and also to those who control the release of such traffic, that is the shops, factories and wholesalers who need to be available ‘out of hours’ thus proving that a change of attitude toward effective working periods can result in a reduction of both bottom line and environmental costs for all concerned and without imposing penalties on neighbourhood interests.