Thursday, 29 September 2016 23:29

Sheffield Univ round table - logistics improvement in urban areas

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Dr Erica Ballantyne leads a discussion group on urban logistics. Dr Erica Ballantyne leads a discussion group on urban logistics.

What can be to done to improve logistics operations in Urban Areas?

Sheffield University, Dr Erica Ballantyne urban freight research hosted a round table focus group, Smart technologies, customers, quick turnarounds, reliable availability, safer deliveries, reduced mileage, air quality all featured in the discussions. Stakeholders who are part of and affected by Urban Transport policy and operations engaged the discussions. Tracey Worth for Institute of Couriers reports. The introduction started with moments of quietness to reflect on the issue 'What can be done to improve operations in Urban Areas whilst helping to alleviate current urban transport problems?' Each of three stakeholder table groups focused on how this question affected their area of expertise.

The consolidation of table discussions highlighted the good works of TfL and NE freight Quality Partnerships and the need to offer opportunity for SME interaction and industry-driven solutions to meet business needs. Ideas consolidated to see each member of the room voting on their best options for success then the big surprise of the day came from the news that DHL are set to buy UKMail. Peter Kane chairman of UKMail said 'that UK Mail will benefit significantly from becoming part of Deutsche Post DHL'. This exciting news will see expansion and investment of UK Mail who will compete strongly with Royal Mail for post and parcel delivery.

With some parallel to the recent LoCity technology discussions, Prof David Stone Sheffield University opened the afternoon giving an energetic energy talk about technology and energy conversion. EV (electric vehicles) storage and how can we make energy do something!  It is useful to understand the technology as it is not always obvious as to why energy is used in the way it is. The Prof claimed 2020 energy supply will be reduced by 30% of today's supply and the idea of increasing electric vehicles in urban areas means that the infrastructure would not be able to meet demand. He cited an example, the UPS fleet had to reduce the trails of their electric vehicles in London due to not having enough energy infrastructure to support twelve vehicles! Energy storage offers supply of energy when external issues like weather or demand cause larger than capacity ability. Sheffield University is researching how stored energy from electric vehicles could power the railways. Known as Trans energy. Vehicle to grid power.

LoCity discussions in London have focused on infrastructure, this powerful presentation led to a wide discussion of wireless technology, also electric vehicle infrastructure, energy transfer and dissipation. The time and distance of electric batteries was highlighted as an issue for policy makers as well as for the user. Electric vehicles will be part of the future and a breakthrough for energy storage will help make it a positive outcome for all users. Prof Stone closed his presentation with an audience participation question which is the greener battery? Lead or Lithium. Lead batteries are 99.4% recycled.  A lithium battery is not recyclable at all.

The mix of stakeholders was rich in AECOM consultants amongst academics and a small number of operators, the rest of the afternoon lead to discussing the results of the top five effective results and acceptable practises to make positive changes to urban policy and operations. Dr Erica Ballantyne gave a summary of discussion showcasing the positives to lead to solutions rather than concentrating on the negatives. (Smart technologies and availability, customers, quick turn arounds, reliable availability, safer deliveries, reduced mileage, air quality)


Last modified on Thursday, 29 September 2016 23:35