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Sustainable city logistics in practice: consolidated approach in London to streamline delivery processes

Camden Council in London is introducing a more sustainable way of delivering goods within the borough as a result of a pilot scheme co-funded by the LaMiLo project. A number of Council suppliers are now delivering goods to a nearby consolidation centre for onward delivery, instead of making individual journeys. This means fewer vehicles, which helps to reduce congestion, air pollution and noise on the roads, while delivering real value for money.

Working with Enfield, Waltham Forest and Islington councils, the one year London Boroughs Consolidation Centre (LBCC) pilot demonstrated that by streamlining deliveries and changing purchasing behaviour, environmental and operational benefits can be achieved. The success of the LBCC pilot means that Camden and its partners are now searching for a logistics partner to deliver the service on a long-term basis.

LaMiLo project in London

Councillor Theo Blackwell, Cabinet Member for Finance and Technology Policy said: “With tens of thousands of deliveries coming into our buildings each year, we’ve had to rethink how we could re-organise them in a more economic and environmentally friendly way.

“The pilot has shown that environmental and operational benefits for residents, businesses and Council staff can be achieved. It has seen 50,000 items delivered to over 250 council buildings so far, leading to a 46% reduction in the number of vehicle trips and a 45% reduction in kilometres travelled. 

“We have developed a four year plan which anticipates the volume of goods going through the consolidation centre will increase considerably. Already a number of new partners and users have expressed an interest in joining the service including Business Improvement Districts, schools, universities, other London Borough councils, and retailers who are keen to receive the environmental, financial, operational and customer experience benefits that consolidation brings.”

LaMiLo Camdne consolidation centre scheme

Ian Short, Chief Executive, Institute for Sustainability comments: “Freight vehicles typically represent 8-15% of total traffic flow in urban areas but, when they park to make collections or deliveries outside designated parking spaces, they can reduce road capacity and contribute to congestion[1]. Finding solutions to manage the last mile of deliveries that work for businesses, consumers and the environment is increasingly important. Through LaMiLo, the Institute has been working on a number of pilot projects across North West Europe to look at how last mile deliveries can be streamlined. Camden Council’s work enables others to follow their lead to reduce air pollution, reduce congestion and combat climate change.”

The LBCC also demonstrated that by consolidating orders, cost savings can be made based on the decreased mileage that suppliers travel and enables bulk purchasing of non-perishable goods, such as office supplies, to be stored until needed. By adopting new practices around ordering, greater operational and economic efficiency can be achieved.

Through a range of activity, the LaMiLo project is engaging with private and public sector organisations, as well as end users, to help influence their behaviour to adopt more efficient and sustainable last mile practices.

For more information on the Camden pilot project, click here.

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