FTC2050 Logo

Transforming the energy demands of last-mile urban freight through collaborative logistics

About FTC2050

Freight transport accounts for 16% of all road vehicle activity in our cities, contributing to traffic congestion and poor air quality. For instance, the cost of congestion in London was estimated to be £5.4bn in 2013, and has been estimated to rise to £9bn by 2030.

Working directly with Transport for London and innovative carriers (TNT and Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution) and through them, DX and Hermes), we have been developing new understandings of the overlap of delivery schedules, algorithms and business models to enable carrier co-ordination that reduces energy demand. In doing so, we have been fundamentally reconsidering the efficiency of last-mile logistics. For an overview of the project, click here.

The FTC2050 project (2016-2019) received funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under grant agreement no. EP/N02222X/1.

Team

Southampton, Westminster, UCL and Lancaster

Tom Cherrett and Fraser McLeod, Transportation Research Group, University of Southampton
Tolga Bektas, Management School, University of Liverpool
Maja Piecyk, Julian Allen and Marzena Piotrowska, Department of Planning and Transport, University of Westminster
Adrian Friday, Nigel Davies, Oliver Bates and Carolynne Lord, School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University
Sarah Wise and Kostas Cheliotis, Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London

Collaborators

In collaboration with TNT, Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution), Transport for London, City of London, APC Overnight, DPD, UPS, DHL, Institute of Couriers and Freight Transport Association.

TNT Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution) TfL City of London APC Overnight DPD UPS DHL Freight Transport Association

PAST EVENTS

2019

FTC 2050 AND BBC SOUNDS: SARAH WISE SPEAKS ON YOU AND YOURS, AND SMART CONSUMER

Sarah Wise was invited to participate in both the Smart Consumer Podcast with Beatrice Pickup and the You and Yours programme on BBC Radio 4. Listen to the podcast and show here.

FAST, GREEN & FREE DELIVERIES: OVERCOMING THE LAST- MILE CHALLENGE IN URBAN TRANSPORT

The intention of this symposium was to bring together a large audience of the various parties involved in last-mile urban deliveries including: freight transport operators, policy makers, vehicle manufacturers, IT and telematics providers, consultants and academic researchers. During the course of the day the audience was presented with the results from the EPSRC-funded Freight Traffic Control 2050 project. The event also provided insight into last-mile delivery technologies being developed by companies and findings from other relevant projects, as well as the thinking and insights of policy makers and freight transport operators working in the parcel delivery sector. It consisted of presentations, panel and poster discussions, and question and answer sessions about operational, land-use, technological and policy implications of urban last-mile deliveries.

Simon Shapcott (Head of the Department for Transport's Office for Science) gave the keynote address in which he provided insight into the challenges and facing UK transport in general and freight in particular. He outlined recent government thinking and strategy including the recent Government Office for Science’s Future of Freight, the DfT’s Last-Mile Delivery Consultation, and the advice to government in the National Infrastructure Commission’s Freight Report.

The first session of the day focused on academic research carried out into the sustainability last-mile parcel deliveries in urban areas. Tom Cherrett (University of Southampton and FTC2050 Principal Investigator) provided a summary of the objectives and breadth of work carried out in FTC2050, an EPSRC-funded project, that has addressed the issue of how to move towards last-mile urban delivery systems that are sustainable in traffic and environmental terms, while at the same time providing a viable business model and operation for companies. He explained the fieldwork, data collection and analysis carried out to understand transport operations in central London, using data and visualisations. This understanding of the sector led on to a programme of FTC 2050 research that Tom outlined.

Maja Piecyk (University of Westminster) explained the FTC2050 work into the B2B and B2C same-day and next day parcel sectors, and the challenges faced in terms of depot availability and affordability, declining traffic speeds, reducing kerbside availability, and ever-increasing delivery service levels for customers. She presented analysis of the extent to which operating costs in central London were expected to increase if no action is taken to alleviate these problems by carriers or policy makers, and also outlined the range of company initiatives and policy measures that had been investigated during the project, together with their potential impact in terms of vehicle km, time spent at kerbside, CO2 emissions and operating costs, noting the barriers to achieving them.

Phil Greening (Heriot-Watt University) provided an outline of the research being carried out in the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF), another freight transport project funded by the EPSRC, which has been collaborating with FTC2050 given their shared interests in the environmental sustainability of freight transport. He presented SRF work into the last-mile delivery of online grocery orders, and the analysis that has been carried out using agent-based modelling to examine the influence of consumer behaviour and the electrification of the last-mile grocery delivery fleet. This work has highlighted the implications of fleet electrification and its consequent recharging requirement on logistics organisation in terms of depot function and customer service levels.

Five 3-minute presentations were then made by researchers from FTC2050 and SRF about the work they had carried out as part of these projects. This covered topics including: ‘Collaborative working and game theory applications’ (Tolga Bektas, University of Liverpool), ‘Electrification of Home Delivery Vehicles' (Nadia Taou, Heriot-Watt University), ‘Developing a Dashboard for Last-Mile Freight Traffic’ (Kostas Cheliotis, University College London), ‘Incorporating Consumer Behaviour into the Optimisation of Van Deliveries’ (Pratyush Dadhich, Heriot-Watt University), and ‘Co-designing Digital Services for Collaborative and Sustainable Logistics’ (Oliver Bates, Lancaster University). A sixth brief presentation was made about the winning entry in the FTC2050 Hackathon on same-day parcel deliveries, which was run in conjunction CitySprint, the same-day carrier. Over lunch delegates were able to view each of these posters and discuss the work carried out with the researchers.

Other posters prepared over the course of the project were also available to view over lunch, these included:
Last-mile parcel delivery - Characteristics and trends
Parcel carrier collaboration - the carrier's carrier model
Same-day delivery market and operations
Solutions for more efficient and environmentally-friendly last-mile delivery
Surveys of next-day last-mile parcel operations in central London

The session after lunch commenced with a parcel operator panel discussion on urban deliveries. It was moderated by Ian Wainwright (Future City Logistics) and panelists were: Dervla Gallagher (Director of Business Infrastructure at APC), Andy Wilson (City Logistics Manager at TNT/FedEx), Sam Clarke (co-founder and Head of Business Development at Gnewt by Menzies Distribution), and Rob King (co-founder and CEO of Zedify). In a rich and wide-ranging discussion which included questions from the floor, issues covered included the commercial and challenges facing last-mile urban logistics, the role of policy making at various levels in an increasingly complicated and operationally difficult urban landscape, the role of other supply chain parties (including retail customers and final consumers) in addressing last-mile servicing and pricing challenges, the potential for operational collaboration in the parcel sector, the potential for using electric vans and cargo cycles in urban centres, and the importance of operational data for corporate strategy and informed policy-making.

The third session focused on new operations and technologies for last-mile delivery. Sam Clarke (Gnewt by Menzies Distribution) and Tom Cherrett (University of Southampton) presented research carried out in FTC2050 and subsequently continued by Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution) into the use of on-foot porters for the final deliveries of parcels. This decouples the vehicle from the final metres of delivery, and thereby reduces vehicle fleet requirements, driving distances and especially kerbside space and time requirements. The trials carried out by Gnewt were illustrated together with the traffic and environmental benefits, and the operating cost implications.

Fraser Maclean (co-founder of AJG Parcels and formerly of Menzies Distribution) presented a case study of parcel carrier collaboration in action in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. He explained how he had overseen the development of a service and related data handling system that facilitates the collaborative delivery of parcels in some of the remotest parts of Scotland, in which Menzies Distribution functions as a neutral consolidator on behalf of many major national parcel carriers, thereby reducing delivery operating costs, improving service levels and reducing vehicle traffic. This led to a fascinating discussion about the potential applicability of this approach to dense urban areas, which although having very different geograp\hies and drop densities are faced with ever-more challenging transport conditions and rising operating costs.

Mark Preston (founder and CSO of StreetDrone) explained his efforts to bring his knowledge and experience in Formula 1 and Formula E to the development of autonomous, electric vehicles to aid last-mile delivery. He presented his company’s work in developing digitally-addressable mobile lockers and other autonomous road vehicles that could be positioned off-peak for customers to collect their orders from and to make deliveries direct to customer’s homes and workplaces. Mark also explained development work and trials of the technology carried out with automotive designers Astheimer and Warwick Manufacturing Group at a university campus.

The final session of the day addressed infrastructure and policy needs for last-mile deliveries. Tom Rice (Planning and Delivery Lead, Transport for London) explained the importance of freight transport to London’s economy and cultural vitality. In addressing the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the related Delivery and Servicing Action Plan he discussed work on Area Freight Management Plans, guidance on Zero Emission Zones, and the London Lorry Control scheme to provide consistency of policy-making across London. He explained the steps that TfL is taking as a major employer and landowner in terms of reviewing personal deliveries to workplaces, the provision of click and collect locker banks, and the potential to make TfL land available for sustainable logistics operations by carrier. He concluded by discussing the TfL Freight Consolidation Demonstrator projects.

John Dales (co-founder and director of Urban Movement) presented the work he is conducting for DfT in the Future Streets project. He provided numerous examples and illustrations of the challenges that exist in the supply and demand of kerbside space in urban areas, and the ways in which the kerbside is currently used including for deliveries. He explained that kerbside demand exceeds supply, but that this has been exacerbated by a lack of strategy at all levels of government about kerbside design and management. While there is no easy solution to these kerbside challenges, he emphasised the importance of strategic thinking especially about flexibility in kerbside use, the provision of clear information, consideration of the value of the kerbside. This will require much improved understanding and data collection concerning the kerbside to better understand user needs, together with creative solutions and possibly charging mechanisms.

TRANSPORT STATISTICS GROUP SEMINAR: VANS AND URBAN FREIGHT
In January 2019, Julian Allen presented the Freight Traffic Control 2050 project at the Transport Statistics Group (TSUG) seminar: Vans and Urban Freight - Drivers of demand, impacts and future innovations in last mile delivery. Allen spoke of FTC2050's investigation of last-mile urban parcel operations (typically by van) and their traffic, energy and environmental impacts.

2018

NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE COMMISSION WORKSHOP: THE VALUE OF FREIGHT
In September 2018, Julian Allen represented FTC2050 at the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) workshop 'The Value of Freight'. During this workshop, qualitative scenarios were developed in consultation with the NIC and other representatives of stakeholders. Participation in this workshop led to results of the FTC2050 being cited in the NIC Future of Freight Interim Report. This publication set out the NIC’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs in the UK to 2050 and its recommendations on how best to meet this need. The Urban Freight Expert Roundtable focused on the last-mile delivery of freight in urban areas to understand current challenges the solutions that need to be considered by policy makers over the next 30 years, and the infrastructure impacts of these solutions.

URBAN DELIVERIES – THE INNER CITY CHALLENGE, LONDON
A commercial seminar organised by Post&Parcel in July 2018 explored the challenges facing retailers and carriers delivering an ever-growing volume of parcels due to online shopping, which is threatening to cause rising traffic problems in our cities. The seminar investigated innovative solutions to these delivery difficulties. Tom Cherrett and Sam Clarke (from Gnewt) presented the results of the portering trial that was carried out in central London in 2018 as part of FTC2050, providing insight into the transport and environmental benefits associated with it.

E-COMMERCE DELIVERY CONFERENCE 2018, LONDON
During a commercial conference run by Leaders in Logistics focused on how to satisfy the customer in a competitive delivery market, Sam Clarke from Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution) spoke about his company’s involvement in the FTC2050 project to better understand the impacts of its operations, and the portering trial carried out in central London; with the aim of reducing the transport and environmental impacts of its urban delivery operations.

U.S. AND EUROPEAN EXAMPLES OF GAINING INSIGHTS FROM FREIGHT DATA
Tom Cherrett took part in a US/European webinar in March 2018 which focused on two organisations’ efforts (one from the U.S., one from Europe – FTC2050) to gain deeper insights from freight data, with a particular focus on how freight data has supported the development of freight plans and other technical documents, stakeholder engagement, and infrastructure investments.

TACKLING THE LAST MILE - MANAGING URBAN PARCEL DELIVERIES
In January 2018, Tom Cherrett spoke, alongside Graham Ellis (Managing Director of Ellis International Consulting Ltd.), at the Citylab event: Tackling the Mile. This event revolved around issues of how delivery expectations for consumers making orders through the internet are high, leaving logistics professionals who have to plan the 'last mile' facing some significant challenges. The presenters demonstrated the current reality, whilst also describing what has been done to guarantee that the customer's experience will be a satisfying one. In particular, this illustrated recent work on the Citylab project and the implementation of measures such as van space sharing, consolidation centres and micro-hubs; providing much essential information for all logistics and transportation professionals.

2017

UCL TRANSPORT SYMPOSIUM: NIGHT MOVES - UNDERSTANDING AND SHAPING TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY AT NIGHT
The Symposium 'Night Moves' brought together a range of contributors in October 2017, to generate discussions that together began to map out a framework of understanding 'transport at night', including consideration of how to shape the research agenda in this area. Sarah Wise contributed to Panel 1 through her presentation of 'Visualising Data: The Paths of London Freight Drivers'.

HOME DELIVERY WORLD EUROPE 2017 CONFERENCE, LONDON.
Maja Piecyk led a roundtable discussion on urban freight and home delivery sustainability in the context of FTC2050 and its findings, during a two-day commercial conference (March 2017) with exhibitors aimed at companies involved in the home delivery market. Included talks by retailers and ecommerce brands, delivery companies, collection point and locker bank providers and IT solutions companies.

SMART CITIES CONFERENCE: SMARTER CARRIER JOURNEYS
Sarah Wise gave an invited presentation titled: Smarter carrier journeys - Understanding the Impacts of Last-Mile logistics operations on the Urban Streetscape, in November 2017, at University of Central London (UCL)'s Smart Cities: New Urban Agenda, New Urban Analytics conference. This two-day conference explored the relation and relevance of of smart city interventions, and analytics to urban needs as expressed in the New Urban Agenda, that was agreed at the UN's Habitat III Conference in Quiot.

OXFORD STREET WEST FREIGHT GROUP, LONDON.
Sarah Wise and Julian Allen presented FTC2050 research findings to the Oxford Street West Freight Group (including Westminster City Council and the Cross River Partnership) in April 2017. The Oxford Street West Freight Group is carrying out work into reducing the impact of freight transport on Oxford Street and the surrounding area and has been considering the redesign of Oxford Street, London’s premier shopping street.

SOLVING THE INNER CITY CHALLENGE, SEMINAR, LONDON.
Julian Allen took part in panel session at a commercial seminar in April 2017 run by Post&Parcel, discussing the topic of how parcel carriers can shrink their environmental footprint and green the supply chain. The theme of the seminar was to provide insight into the strategies and tactics required to meet the challenge of delivering an ever-growing volume of parcels to inner city customers.

LAND-USE RELATED FREIGHT TRANSPORT CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN LONDON
Julian Allen took part in a webinar, alongside Mr. Strang from Transport for London (TfL), discussing the challenges and opportunities that related to the interface between land-use and freight transport in London.

LOGISTICS LAND AVAILABILITY IN CENTRAL LONDON: A DISCUSSION
A workshop on the topic of logistics land availability and affordability in central London was held in April 2017 which was attended by 25 invited representatives from the private sector, public sector and academics. Presentations were made about the key issues, including the relocation of logistics depots and warehousing further from the centre of the city over time, due to increasing land rental values and competition from the office and residential sectors (referred to as ‘logistics sprawl’). Participants took part in an interactive session, in which they discussed and cast votes on various questions concerned with logistics land availability and affordability in central London. All but one of the participants viewed the outward relocation of logistics depots and warehousing as a key factor in increasing van activity in central London in recent years. The majority were of the opinion that ‘logistics sprawl’ is affecting the reliability and increasing the operating costs of goods and service provision. Read Maja Piecyk and Julian Allen's writeup of the event in Logistics and Transport Focus (2017: 38-40).

PREVENTING AN URBAN DELIVERY CRISIS – JOINTLY MEETING BUSINESS AND CUSTOMER NEEDS AND SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
In February 2017, Tom Cherrett spoke about the FTC2050 project and how we might improve efficiency in last-mile parcel operations at the ITS Freight Interest Group (FIG) meeting to the 90 delegates in attendance. FIG carried out a jointly meeting of business and customer needs, as well as Social and Environmental Challenges, which involved a panel of eight speakers discussing how current nd future demand for the delivery of goods in urban areas has the potential to lead to major business and sustainability problems, and what methods might mitigate them.

Journal Papers and Conference Proceedings

S. Wise, K. Cheliotis, O. Bates, A. Friday, J. Allen, F. McLeod & T. Cherrett (2018) USING AN AGENT-BASED MODEL TO EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE MODES OF LAST-MILE PARCEL DELIVERY IN URBAN CONTEXTS, In Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on GeoSpatial Simulation - Seattle, Washington, USA.

O. Bates, A. Friday, J. Allen, F. McLeod, T. Cherrett, S. Wise, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska, T. Bektas & T. Nguyen (2018)
ICT FOR SUSTAINABLE LAST-MILE LOGISTICS: DATA, PEOPLE AND PARCELS, In Proceedings of ICT4S (ICT for Sustainability), Toronto, Canada.

O. Bates, A.Friday, J. Allen, T. Cherrett, F. McLeod, T. Bektas, T. Nguyen, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska, S. Wise & N. Davies (2018)
TRANSFORMING LAST-MILE LOGISTICS: OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE DELIVERIES, In Proceedings of CHI 18, Montreal, Canada.

J. Allen, T. Bektas, T. Cherrett, O. Bates, A. Friday, F. McLeod, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska & S. Wise (2018) THE SCOPE FOR PAVEMENT PORTERS: ADDRESSING THE CHALLENGES OF LAST-MILE PARCEL DELIVERY IN LONDON. Transportation Research Record: Journal of Transportation Research Board, 2672 (9): 184-193. DOI: 10.1177/0361198118794535.

C. Remy, O. Bates, V. Thomas & M. Broadbent (2018) “SUSTAINABILITY... IT’S JUST NOT IMPORTANT”. THE CHALLENGES OF ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT WITH DIVERSE STAKEHOLDERS, In Proceedings of ICT4S (ICT for Sustainability) 2018, Toronto, Canada.

T. Nguyen, T. Bektaş, T. Cherrett, F. McLeod, J. Allen, O. Bates, M. Piotrowska, M. Piecyk, A. Friday & S. Wise (2018)
OPTIMISING PARCEL DELIVERIES IN LONDON USING DUAL-MODE ROUTING, Journal of the Operational Research Society (JORS).

J. Allen, T. Cherrett, M. Piecyk & M. Piotrowska (2018) 'THE LOGISTICS OF PARCEL DELIVERY: CURRENT OPERATIONS AND CHALLENGES FACING THE UK MARKET'. In: M. Browne, S. Behrends, J. Woxenius, G. Guiliano & J. Holguin-Veras (eds.) Urban Logistics: Management, Policy and Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Environment. United Kingdom: Kogan Page Ltd. 141-166.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska, F. McLeod, T. Cherrett, T. Nguyen, T. Bektas, O. Bates, A. Friday, S. Wise & M. Z. Austwick (2017) UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF E-COMMERCE ON LAST-MILE LIGHT GOODS VEHICLE ACTIVITY IN URBAN AREAS: THE CASE OF LONDON, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. DOI: 10.1016/2017.07.020.

O. Bates, V. Thomas & C. Remy (2017) DOING GOOD IN HCI: CAN WE BROADEN THE AGENDA? interactions, 24 (5):80-82. DOI: 10.1145/3121386

J. Allen, T. Bektas, T. Cherrett, A. Friday, F. McLeod, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska & M. Austwick (2017) ENABLING A FREIGHT TRAFFIC CONTROLLER FOR COLLABORATIVE MULTIDROP URBAN LOGISTICS. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2609 (1): 77-84. DOI: 10.3141/2609-09.

O. Bates, B. Knowles & A. Friday (2017) ARE PEOPLE THE KEY TO ENABLING COLLABORATIVE SMART LOGISTICS? CHI EA '17 Proceedings of the CHI Conference: Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1494-1499, Colorado, USA. [POSTER]

J. Allen, T. Bektas, T. Cherrett, A. Friday, F. McLeod, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska & M. Z. Austwick (2017) ENABLING THE FREIGHT TRAFFIC CONTROLLER FOR COLLABORATIVE MULTI-DROP URBAN LOGISTICS: PRACTICAL AND THEORETICAL CHALLENGES, Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting (TRB 2017), Washington, US, 08 - 12.

Other Publications and Conference Presentations

O. Bates, K. New, S. Mitchell-Finnigan, M. Mauriello, C. Remy, R. Bendor, S. Mann, S. Chopra, A.K. Clear, & C, Preist (2019) "Towards a Responsible Innovation Agenda for HCI" , Computer Human Interaction (CHI) Workshop Paper.

O. Bates & A. Friday (2018)
INTANGIBLE COMMODITIES WITH FREE DELIVERY: FINDING THE LIMIT IN DIGITALLY MEDIATED E-COMMERCE, ACM Workshop on Computing within Limits, Toronto, Canada.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska, F. McLeod, T. Cherrett, K. Ghali, T. Nguyen, T. Bektas, O. Bates, A. Friday & S. Wise (2017) INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY OF PARCEL OPERATIONS. In Fourth International Workshop on Sustainable Road Freight Transport, University of Cambridge.

O. Bates, V. Thomas, C. Remy, L. Nathan, S. Mann & A. Friday (2018) THE FUTURE OF HCI AND SUSTAINABILITY: CHAMPIONING ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. Special Interest Group, CHI 2018, Montreal, Canada.

C. Remy, O. Bates, A. Dix, V. Thomas, M. Hazas, A. Friday & E. Huang (2018) EVALUATION BEYOND USABILITY: VALIDATING SUSTAINABLE HCI RESEARCH. CHI 2018, Montreal, Canada. DOI: 10.1145/3173574.3173790

M. Piotrowska, M. Piecyk, J. Allen, F. McLeod, M. Austwick, O. Bates, A. Friday, S. Wise, T. Bektas, T. Nguyen, K. Ghali & T. Cherrett (2017) ANALYSING THE PERFORMANCE OF LAST-MILE PARCEL DELIVERY OPERATIONS IN LONDON. Presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Logistics Research Network (LRN), Southampton Solent University.

F. McLeod, O. Bates, T. Cherrett, A. Friday, S. Wise, M. Austwick, J. Allen, M. Piecyk, M. Piotrowska, T. Bektas, T. Nguyen & K. Ghali (2017) EXPLORING THE TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL IMPACT OF SEASONAL PARCEL DEMAND ON URBAN FREIGHT. Presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, Logistics Research Network (LRN) , Southampton Solent University.

O. Bates & A. Friday (2016) FOOD 'ON-DEMAND': LEARNING FROM SUSTAINABLE LAST-MILE FREIGHT LOGISTICS. Presented at the "Designing Sustainable Food Systems" Workshop @ CHI '17, Denver, Colorado, USA.

Reports

K. Cheliotis (2019) DEVELOPING A DASHBOARD OF LAST-MILE FREIGHT TRAFFIC, Internal report.

F. McLeod, T. Cherrett, O. Bates, T. Bektaş, C. Lamas-Fernandez, J. Allen, M. Piotrowska & M. Piecyk (2019) COLLABORATIVE PARCELS LOGISTICS VIA THE CARRIER'S CARRIER OPERATING MODEL, Internal report.

F. McLeod, T. Cherrett, T. Bektaş, J. Allen, A. Martinez-Sykora, C. Lamas-Fernandez, O. Bates, K. Cheliotis, A. Friday, M. Piecyk & S. Wise (2019) QUANTIFYING ENVIRONMENTAL AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS OF USING PORTERS AND CYCLE COURIERS FOR LAST-MILE PARCEL DELIVERY, Internal report.

P. Greening, M. Piecyk, A. Palmer & P. Dadhich (2019) DECARBONISING ROAD FREIGHT. A review commissioned by the Government Office for Science as a part of their evidence review for the 'Future of Mobility' project.

F. MacLean, F. McLeod & O. Bates (2019)
PARCEL CARRIER COLLABORATION – CAN BIG CITIES LEARN FROM SMALL COMMUNITIES?
CILT Focus, April 2019.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk & M. Piotrowska (2018) AN ANALYSIS OF THE SAME-DAY DELIVERY MARKET AND OPERATIONS IN THE UK, Internal Report.

M. Piecyk & J. Allen (2017) LAND AVAILABILITY IN LONDON,
Logistics & Transport Focus, p. 38 - 40.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk & M. Piotrowska (2016) AN ANALYSIS OF ONLINE SHOPPING AND HOME DELIVERY IN THE UK, Internal Report.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk & M. Piotrowska (2016) AN ANALYSIS OF ROAD FREIGHT IN LONDON AND BRITAIN: TRAFFIC, ACTIVITY AND SUSTAINABILITY, Internal Report.

J. Allen, M. Piecyk & M. Piotrowska (2016) AN ANALYSIS OF THE NEXT-DAY AND ECONOMY PARCELS MARKET AND PARCEL CARRIERS' OPERATIONS IN THE UK, Internal Report.

Policy Impact

THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY: LAST MILE URBAN FREIGHT IN THE UK: HOW AND WHY IS IT CHANGING?
(Government Office for Science, 2019)
Contributed to, and acknowledged in this report, which looks out to 2040 and considers the whole transport system of users and goods. It considers new opportunities and the implications of current trends, building four plausible future worlds to help decision makers think about the future.

CITY STREETS: TRANSPORT FOR A CHANGING SQUARE MILE
(City of London, 2019)
FTC2050 submitted evidence to the City of London Corporation for their consideration in preparing this report. Concentrating on the Square Mile, this report considers how people and goods travel to and around the City, recognising the significant impact that this can have on the experience of living, working and studying in or visiting the City of London.

THE LAST MILE: OPPORTUNITIES TO DELIVER GOODS MORE SUSTAINABLY
(Department for Transport, 2019)
FTC2050 responded to a call from the Department for Transport (DfT) in September 2018, for evidence that would allow the Government to understand and assess the true scale and potential of transforming the 'last-mile' into an integrated and sustainable delivery system. In March 2019, DfT responded to this evidence, noting the opportunities and challenges that had been highlighted in making the radical shift to new technologies that could support such a transformation.

FUTURE OF FREIGHT: INTERIM REPORT
(National Infrastructure Commission, 2018)
In September 2018, Julian Allen represented FTC2050 at the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) workshop 'The Value of Freight'. During this workshop, qualitative scenarios were developed in consultation with the NIC and other representatives of stakeholders. Participation in this workshop led to results of the FTC2050 being cited in the NIC Future of Freight Interim Report.

FUTURE TRANSPORT: HOW IS LONDON RESPONDING TO TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION?
(London Assembly Transport Committee, 2018)
The London Assembly examines decisions and actions to ensure promises to Londoners are delivered. Within that, the Transport Committee examines all aspects of the capital's transport system in order to press for improvements for Londoners. FTC2050 submitted evidence to the Transport Committee, and were acknowledged within the resulting report.

MAYOR OF LONDON'S DRAFT LONDON PLAN
(Khan, 2018)
The London Plan is the statutory Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London prepared by the Mayor of London, which includes the Mayor's general policies in respect of the development and use of land in Greater London and statements dealing with general spatial development aspects of his other strategies. FTC2050 contributed to the plan in several ways:

(1) FTC2050 responded to a public consultation with the following evidence.

(2) Julian Allen was invited to participate in the work of the Industrial and Logistics Sounding Board (ILSB), established in 2017 to provide independent scrutiny of the Mayor of London's new draft of London plan. The ILSB represents the collective thoughts and views of key representatives of the industrial and logistics sector, including operators, developers, occupiers, London Boroughs, research groups and statutory bodies.

(3) FTC2050 also provided evidence as part of the 'Freight Deliveries and Servicing' session (M63), during the national consultation of the London Plan Examination in Public; alongside entities such as Amazon UK Services Limited (DWD LLP), British Retail Consortium, DB Cargo UK Ltd. (Arup) and others.

(4) A written response was also provided after the Examination in Public.

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE URBAN FREIGHT DISTRIBUTION IN THE UK: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
(Independent Transport Commission, 2017)
The Independent Transport Commission (ITC) is Britain's independent research charity that is committed to improving policy on transport, land use and planning. Tom Cherrett and Julian Allen were both acknowledged in this report for their advice and for informing the research conducted by the ITC.

Select Committee Evidence

Tom Cherrett spoke in January 2017, on behalf of the FTC2050 project, as a witness to the Transport Select Committee on the topic of urban congestion, and specifically the proliferation of delivery vans as a potential effect of urban freight and logistics.

A transcript of the session is available here, and audio and video of the session is available below.



Industry Impact

Portering

The FTC2050 project has investigated the use of porters for the ‘last-200m’ delivery of parcels. By decoupling transport and delivery in this way, portering aims to reduce the need for van transport, shifting a part of the delivery onto other modes of travelling (e.g. walking, cycling). Our animation describes the concept, its main aims and benefits, as well as summary results obtained from surveys, field trials and analyses, with Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution). See here also for a poster that summarises how portering could help to reduce reliance on vans.



Our report provides full details of the methods used and all results for this portering trial.

Ford has since partnered with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution to trial new digital parcel courier services that are designed to help reduce congestion and which offer faster deliveries in London. Ford's new cloud-based software identifies optimum places for van drivers to pull over near multipe drop-off points; pedestrian and cycle couriers perform the last leg of delivery.



Work undertaken as part of the FTC2050 project first trialled the portering concept with Gnewt (by Menzies Distribution), who have gone on to develop this idea commercially with Ford. The key benefit is that the number of delivery vehicles can be significantly reduced (i.e. one van can do the job of three) , so reducing kerbside stopping time, and pollution.

FTC2050 is accredited in Ford's press release about the trial, and a number of articles discussed these trials, including The Telegraph, Post&Parcel and Commercial Fleet.

Engaging with Industry Partners: Data Driven Insights

Same Day Delivery Impacts

Student Projects

Over the duration of the FTC2050 project, a number of undergraduate and Masters' projects have been undertaken relating to the project.


2019

Lewys Thomas - University of Southampton (UG, 2019): High Rise Buildings and the Impacts on Delivery Companies Designing Alternative Delivery Solutions.
Mathew Shasha - University of Southampton (UG, 2019): Understanding How the Implementation of a Parcel Portering System Within Central London Could Help Solve Last-Mile Logistical Challenges.
Muhammad Juhari - University of Southampton (UG, 2019): Investigating the Transport Footprint of Last-Mile Food Deliveries and the Scope for Food Couriers to Consolidate ‘Burgers & Boxes’.

2018

Winner of the CILT Undergraduate Dissertation of the Year Award
Andrew Oakey - University of Southampton (UG, 2018): Investigating the Potential of Portering as a Last-Mile Delivery Method to Improve the Sustainability of Parcel Deliveries in London.

Sam Cameron - University of Southampton (UG, 2018): Investigating the Kerbside Behaviour of Urban Freight to Improve Fleet Efficiency.
Ali Awan- University of Southampton (MSc, 2018): Last-Mile Logistics and the Potential for Joint Food and Parcel Delivery in Urban Space.
Alexandre Beardshall, Kenneth Whelan, Eugene Ang Xi Run, Indraneel Gunturi, Charalambia Solomou, Bryce Gilson - University of Southampton (MEng, Group Design Project, 2018): Final Mile Logistics Developing a Green Delivery Policy for CitySprint.

2017

Laura Khuner - University of Westminster (MSc, 2017): Business Models in the Parcel Sector.
Irene O'Reardon - University of Westminster (MSc, 2017): Estimated vs. Actual Freight Trip Generation Rates.
Sophia Boutsouki - Lancaster University (MSc, 2017): Failed Deliveries: Spatial Distribution in London.
Wenke Yang - University College London (MSc, 2017): Allocating MiniHubs for Freight Couriers in London using Stopping Points.
Charles Green - University of Southampton (MSc, 2017): Clustering in Last-Mile Delivery.
Sam Phelps - University of Southampton (Msc, 2017): Splitting the Last-Mile: Optimal Positioning of Large Consolidation Hubs and Localised Delivery Hubs Across London.

Student Hackathon


PARCEL HACK 2019 - 'HACKING THE LAST MILE'

In March 2019, the FTC2050 project held a student hackathon "Hacking the Last-Mile", which set out to develop new ways of interpreting the impacts of last-mile 'business-to-business' (B2B) and 'business-to-consumer' (B2C) parcel deliveries in London and determine ways in which the negative externalities caused by these deliveries could be mitigated. This event was co-hosted by CitySprint, the EPSRC funded FTC2050 project, Transport for London (TfL) and Geovation. The hackathon was conceived through the work of the FTC2050 project and its research with CitySprint looking into how last-mile parcel delivery can be made more sustainable. The event took place over the 1st and 2nd March 2019 at Geovation in central London and two teams prevailed from 48 initial registrants producing new concepts for managing the last-mile using consolidation points around tube stations along with crowd sourced couriers and new scheduling techniques for allocating work to couriers using new green delivery windows.

Some of the themes explored included: the impacts of last-mile parcel operations on the environment, energy and fuel consumption, as well as urban freight's impacts on congestion, infrastructure and land-use.

For more information on the event's themes, see the factsheet.

Winners of the Hackathon

Winners of Parcel Hack 19


CASA PhDs developed a novel, disruptive solution based on the use of crowdshipping in which existing passengers travelling to destinations inside the central London ULEZ would carry out the last-leg of the delivery operation. By using existing travellers for these deliveries, the use of crowdshipping in this way would not result in any additional transport activity. These crowdshippers would be used to convey the goods coming from outside the ULEZ carried by van that were destined for delivery within it. This would therefore remove the need for van activity for these goods movements inside ULEZ. In considering where best to locate consolidation points at which these vans could drop off their load for transhipment to crowdshippers, the team obtained passenger flow data for the London Underground (i.e. Oyster Card tap outs during the morning) and mapped the intensity of these flows against the CitySprint collection and delivery locations. The team also made use of the land assets dataset provided by The Transport for London. From this, it was possible to identify a ranking of the most promising Underground station locations, comparing the intersection of high impact goods movements, passenger movements, and TfL space availability. The consolidation points could be locker banks or staffed reception facilities that would be most likely be located outside or close to Underground stations either in kerbside space saved by reducing van traffic, on TfL-owned pavement, or in TfL-owned buildings (rather than within stations given existing space constraints).

Runners-Up of the Hackathon

Runners-Up of Parcel Hack 19


Team CASA considered whether the existing manual allocation of CitySprint’s London collection and delivery jobs to their couriers could be automated in order to improve the consolidation of the parcel flows. Such a system would either involve holding off couriers from making deliveries (and instead making more collections in their locality) or the implementation of micro-hubs (and/or locker facilities) at which couriers could deposit and exchange parcels. This analysis requires major computation and, in order to simplify it, the team considered the linear distance between collection and delivery points rather than probable vehicle routeings and the actual journey distances involved (as this data was not available in the information provided by CitySprint) and excluded temporal analysis. Through this analysis based on clustering similar routes, the team were able to derive clusters of collection and delivery points, based on the shortest distance. They divided the clusters into five geographical zones across which micro-hubs would be implemented. This solution would ensure that customers would receive their parcels by the end of the day on which it was sent. The implementation of 154 micro-hubs (each serving 2-6 wards) was estimated to facilitate a 57% increase in courier productivity and an equivalent reduction in the number of couriers required. This would also allow CitySprint to increase its market presence by utilising these excess couriers to carry out new work that it could win. The team analysed the total collections and deliveries per day made by CitySprint form the data provided and produced visual maps depicting this. This showed the extent to which delivery locations were more dispersed around London than collection locations.