Freight in the City Expo 2017 - Birmingham

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500 guests registered for the spring summit, organised by Motor Transport and championed by Hayley Pink,

Helen Smith, Head of Freight for Transport for Greater Manchester spoke about environment & active travel and Peter Harris, UPS covered sustainable strategy whilst reducing congestion and emissions.

The afternoon saw Tim Ward speaking for Transport for London before workshop panels focused between making the switch of modes, road and rail, then a workshop on merging trends (Steve Gooding RAC – rise of the van). IoC Fellow Sam Clarke spoke on how to balance customer demand vs. min impact on urban realm.


 Opening keynote was MP Rob Flello, chair of the all-party group for freight transport and member of the transport committee, MP for Stoke-on-Trent (South).

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Rob Flello MP comments:

The last mile is most visible. I urge you to think about what are the most important issues affecting the last mile and make good arguments now.


Tracey Worth, IoC

As Europe uses the carrot instead of the stick, the UK should consider freight on the HS2 and the possibility of grid systems. We need an integrated transport policy.


Splinter groups focused on clean air and alternative fuels included a meeting of Commercial Vehicle working group looking at LowCV, OLEV and DfT Jenny Keating delivery as the splinter group reviewed evaluation of technologies.


Helen Smith TfGM

Transport for Greater Manchester is using effective collaboration through councils to implement infrastructure and softer measures for a safer road for all users. Sustainable modes of walking and cycling to assist with the reduction of emission, healthy lifestyle and congestion is only one part of the freight and transport policy. Safe urban driver courses for all LGV drivers who require a CPC qualification along with safe urban driver light course aimed at drivers of small vans or cars. This training with further cycle training is aimed to promote safer driver activity. TfGM will pursue greater safer road infrastructure with kerb cycle lanes and the encouragement  of  participation in FORS compliance. Working with public and private sectors we are embracing innovative ideas to create safer road use.

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Helen Smith TfGM


Dr Laetitia Dablanc, director of research at the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (IFSTTAR, University of Paris-Est)

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Dr Dablanc gave a presentation with passion on three case studies of urban transport innovation. How can a city improve the 95% of deliveries per day which are made by diesel vehicle?

The first provision was the use of land management in the centre of Paris by a Logistics Hotel. This is a building that is multi storey and mixed use. The first two floors are used by a logistics company, another floor for offices, a school and using the roof for urban farming. This planning keeps a logistics company in a prime location and good spacial use.

Planning has also seen the use of old plant buildings and underground carparks as small logistic sortation and delivery depots.

The other two innovations; having been trialled in London and has been as successful as in the other European cities is the implementation of LEZ ( low emissions zones) and night time deliveries.


Peter Harris, Director of sustainability Europe for UPS

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Paul Harris UPS supported these innovations as UPS look to a truck free delivery in urban areas, citing Hamburg as the city of future urban deliveries.


Kevin Huskie, Sales Director Geodis UK

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Geodis, Kevin Huskie spoke of the ‘Distripolis model’ in which they take 8 challenges and put them into a plan for urban delivery best practice.

Using an outer-city consolidation centre and consolidating side of packages Geodis have achieved huge savings on CO2 emissions and noise levels but still meeting customer demands by encouraging customers to use this service. Matching the customer demand of 'comfort deliveries' and use the culture of reducing gas emissions as an influencer, with price and reliability of delivery.


The Q & A session was set to three questions?

  • Can deliveries be taken out of peak hours and still meet 24/7 customer expectation?
  • How does industry and government deliver a 24/7 economy that also improves air quality and reduce emissions?
  • How can we improve the quality of the urban environment for pedestrians, but meet customer delivery expectations?

Sam Clarke, Gnewt (2nd from R)  discussed the possibility of competitors using consolidated delivery within the urban cities will be able to meet customer demands and innovation of delivery policy

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Expert discussion panel

The panel, including Sam Clarke Fellow IoC, commented:

deliveries at night are possible to home and electric vehicles are noiseless, but offices are shut at night. Major carriers systems don't work over a 9pm cut-off as the IT challenge is these service suppliers would need to invest massively into their systems. The competition for the road space, predestination restricts delivery access forever a challenge. The reality is urban pedestrianizing includes vans.

Tim Ward TfL commented:

It is about what can we move out of the morning peak and what can we move off the road totally onto other modes. An approach as to how customers buy stuff?

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IoC Fellows attending the Expo - Carl Lomas, Graham Dixon Esprit, Sam Clarke Gnewt and Andrew Lowery Carousel
Last modified on Thursday, 02 March 2017 15:41