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Data sharing - the key for Off Peak

Monday, August 28, 2023

The HITS project has looked at conditions for deliveries at night (Off Peak) in central Stockholm. Is it possible, how do the actors share data, what are the pros and cons? The questions are lined up. Annette Hultåker, Technical Manager at Scania's electrification, has spent many hours to develop theoretical solutions. Now, they are beeing tested in practice.

Bild på Annette Hultåker och Scanialastbil i nattmiljö utanför Mc Donalds

In order to manage and make night deliveries successful, all actors involved must share their data. And in order to become successful with data sharing, eight different factors must be met, Annette begins.

Eight factors

First and foremost, there must be data available and it must be of business value. In addition, it is necessary to keep track of the laws and regulations that apply, otherwise there is no point in proceeding. Participants must be able to trust each other and an infrastructure for data sharing must be in place. Security must be high, both for goods and personnel, access to metadata simplifies administration between the parties involved  and of course everyone involved must have the knowledge required to succeed. These eight factors should be met, but in which order of priority will vary between different businesses. However, the factors influence each other to varying degrees.

Data sharing

When the 8 factors are in place, the testing can start in reality. The HITS pilot is based on a "Physical Internet" platform, which enables direct data sharing between the actors involved without their own cross connections. The platform has also made it possible to give goods, vehicles and drivers unique e-identities for tracking. In addition, the recipients have been given locks that can only be unlocked when the right goods, with the right vehicle and the right driver are in place. This has opened up for deliveries at night without staff on site. It is also a safety measure for the drivers.

Test in real life

In Stockholm, HAVI, LogTrade and McDonalds have tested the theories during a period through deliveries to four restaurants. The tests have shown that the business is possible if everyone pitches in. Initially, problems arose when the recipients of the goods were not on site and had not prepared staging areas. Once resolved, several benefits were noted. The job became calmer and felt safer for both recipient and supplier as deliveries could take place when there was not so much traffic and no customers in the premises. The drivers, who worked two by two for safety reasons, experienced it as a positive, even if during the tests it was perhaps too few with only four delivery locations.

The challenge

The next step is to calculate the profitability as it costs more to have staff who work at night, certain investments in digital locks, quieter shopping carts, better floors, etc. Certain regulations must be reviewed for agreements to work between recipients, suppliers and landowners. But at the same time, the environmental benefits and the well-being of the staff must be taken into account, Annette concludes.

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