Toolbox for city distribution
In an ongoing research project, DACHSER is exploring new ways of city distribution for Europe’s metropolises. But there’s already one clear winner: DACHSER’s modular toolbox for handling the last mile in city centers.
Unending traffic jams, scarce parking, traffic restrictions along with greenhouse gas emissions, and problems with particulates and CO2: traffic is in trouble in many urban centers—and that applies equally to cars and to trucks. Cities like Paris and Stuttgart face driving bans and access restrictions, especially for diesel vehicles, in peak hours.
As trailblazers, DACHSER needs to go its own way in the groupage market to identify and implement innovations before its competitors do. Michael Schilling, COO Road Logistics at Dachser, sets the tone: “Our goal is to create innovative, sustainable business models so that our customers’ goods reach the city centers. Companies wishing to play a part in the design of tomorrow’s urban delivery systems must combine tried and tested logistics solutions with innovative ideas.”
Every city is different
Stefan Hohm, Corporate Director Corporate Solutions, Research & Development says: “The growth of cities and metropolitan areas all around the world combined with changing consumer behavior and increasing environmental consciousness is posing new challenges to logistics. Environmental standards, traffic jams, and changing customer expectations require new solutions”. His area of responsibility includes the “City Distribution” project through which DACHSER seeks to identify pioneering network innovations within its idea2net strategic program.
We have to meet the challenges in different urban spaces head on,” says Hella Abidi, Consultant Research & Development at DACHSER, who heads the City Distribution Project. Some of these factors are the rising individualization of production and trade, a number of laws and regulations, the increasing volume of goods and smaller shipments, and greater and more detailed customer requirements. “But they are different in every big city.”
For efficient, sustainable urban deliveries, DACHSER is therefore developing a toolbox with proactive solutions that can be implemented locally by the individual branch offices after an analysis of the topography, demography, and regulatory structure of each metropolitan region. “Only those who get to grips with the specific requirements can offer optimum logistics operations in cities and metropolitan regions in the future,” says Abidi.
Dialogue, processes, technologies
DACHSER’s research focuses not only on multimodal supply chains and process configuration, which also factors in concepts for evening and nighttime delivery, but also, in particular, on the use of innovative drive systems suited for city center operations. In the end, reliable calculations have helped to measurably reduce the carbon footprint.
“Individuality reigns supreme in city distribution,” says Stefan Hohm. “Still, we don’t want isolated solutions. Rather, our medium and long-term goal is to systematically manage zero-emissions zones in Europe as much as we can, and to implement standard processes to that end.
At the same time, drivers as well as customers appreciate the innovative vehicles.” But one thing is also clear, says Hohm: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and sustainable city distribution is no exception.”