The HITS project has looked deeply into the problems of transports in cities, including off-peak transports. The carriers increase their delivery precision when they drive the goods off-peak, which is an important customer value, but if the customer does not want the goods at these times, what is left of the customer value then? Can this be solved in such a way that both parties benefit from the goods arriving at night?
Previous studies have shown that transport efficiency in time can be reduced by 30 percent when a distribution truck, which in theory can replace 5 vans, delivers outside rush hour. If the vehicle is also powered by electricity and thus runs quietly, the possibility of deliveries is also opened at night and thus the traffic impact in rush hour traffic is significantly reduced.
Night deliveries does not suit everyone
Few recipients want deliveries at night. Storage space, staff costs and security are some of the explanations. It will be less time efficient for those who are to receive the goods if they do not have other assignments at these times. In addition, each delivery point has its own challenges in terms of physical conditions and noise. Factors that in turn can have a major impact on whether Off-peak is appropriate or not. Activities that control the entire product chain, such as larger food chains with their own facilities or businesses that have staff on site at night, e.g. hotels, hospitals and some restaurants, are suitable to start with.
Digitization can create value
HITS has studied how digitization of the supply chain can take place and which steps in this digitization can create value - and for whom. The objective has been to understand how the receiving of goods can be done without staff on site. An unmanned reception creates new customer benefits on the receiving side, provided that the recipients feel that they have confidence in the process. The most important prerequisites have proven to be safety and quality issues. For example, that it is the right courier who delivers the right goods, that cold chains have been intact and that there are smart locks. In other words, different types of verifications and delivery confirmations are needed. Another important factor that creates added value is having control over deviation management. It can be achieved if there is a traceability and transparency in where the goods are located.
Off-peak is good for the environment - but requires effort from the society
If society wants to reduce congestion in cities and allow deliveries outside rush hour, the question of current regulations must be updated and taken seriously. When a city introduces regulations against night deliveries, it affects far beyond the city's own city limits, as companies often include these requirements in their agreements. Agreements that usually apply to the whole country.
Outdated regulations should be updated
The reasons for regulations are that traditional distribution of goods at night does not meet the noise requirements. Electrification of vehicles solves many noise problems, but not all. Roller cages, pallets and other handling equipment can also make noise and create problems for residents in the area and must be handled. Other benefits that the city receives are more efficient deliveries with reduced congestion as a result, reduced climate impact and better air quality. Factors that should be a carrot for society to meet their legal requirements and introduce relief for those who want to drive Off-peak with modern and quiet vehicles.