Something of the night about deliveries

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The Commonwealth Games are set to start in Glasgow in just three weeks and out of hours deliveries will be a crucial element in the city’s strategy to maintain and efficient logistics system during the event.

This mirrors what happened for the Olympics in London in 2012 – a move that was hailed by London Mayor Boris Johnson. “The out-of-hours deliveries during the London 2012 Games were another of those measures which initially raised eyebrows but in practice were a stonking success,” he said.

“Businesses benefited by saving money and congestion was reduced across the capital. It is exactly these sorts of innovative solutions we need to explore to ensure we balance the conflicting demand for space on London’s roads and streets as our population continues to rise.”

In fact, Glasgow City Council has produced a code of practice of out of hours deliveries during the games largely based on the code developed by Transport for London for the Olympics.

“In the most severely impacted locations, the delivery may only be possible between midnight and 6am.This change will pose challenges to local businesses, suppliers and waste operators. Although many deliveries already occur ‘out-of-hours’ without causing problems, the increase in activity necessary during the Games means that even greater attention will be required to meet the needs of businesses while minimising disruption to local residents.”

Of course, there are all sorts of problems with out-of-hours deliveries. There is the additional cost of employing people at night, and there is the need to mitigate disruption to local residents who will not take kindly to being woken up by noisy delivery operations. (Glasgow’s code of practice starts with the rather obivous suggestion that “Inherently noisy activities should be avoided during night-time hours”. )

But the increasing difficulty of managing deliveries in some of our major cities makes out-of-hours activity a prize worth fighting for. Transport for London is running further trials on its scheme and expects to complete them early next year.

But, this month the Commonwealth Games provide a high profile opportunity to demonstrate that out-of-hours deliveries can be good for both business and residents.

Malory Davies FCILT,

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