Urban Consolidation Centres can play an important role in helping local authorities to meet emission targets and reduce congestion, according to the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), the not-for-profit innovation centre which is overseen by Innovate UK.
The TSC, on behalf of the Department for Transport, has developed an economic assessment tool that estimates the cost and benefits of moving towards a logistics consolidation model.
It applied the tool to the University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust as a case study and found that by moving towards consolidation and using the UCC operated by Meachers Global Logistics in Southampton, deliveries to the hospital could be reduced from 867 a week to 25 a week.
Andrew Traill, the TSC’s principal technologist for freight and logistics said: “The uptake of urban consolidation centres has traditionally been low in the UK, due to the costs of establishing and running an extra step in the logistics supply chain. However, as towns and cities face increasing congestion alongside the need to reduce harmful emissions and other local environmental impacts, ‘outside the box’ thinking like this needs to be reconsidered. Ultimately, this model can lead to cleaner towns and cities and more efficient deliveries, while producing a much-needed relief to road systems which are struggling with traffic volumes.”