Information Sharing in Last Mile Distribution – Lessons Learned from a Pilot in Oslo



Information Sharing in Last Mile Distribution – Lessons Learned from a Pilot in Oslo

Authors

Jardar Andersen, Institute Of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Olav Eidhammer, Institute Of Transport Economics, Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Roar Lorvik, GS 1 Norway, Brynsveien 13, 0667 Oslo

Description

The paper discusses experiences from a pilot where improved information sharing in last mile distribution was combined with shared storage facilities to promote more efficient and environmental sustainable deliveries to a shopping centre in Oslo.

Abstract

Introduction
Urban areas represent particular challenges for freight transport, both in terms of logistical performance and environmental impacts (emissions, noise, accidents, congestion and land use). Urban freight is indispensable for the city’s economy but at the same time freight deliveries significantly affect the attractiveness and quality of urban life. Urban freight transport represents between 20 to 25% of road space contributing to between 10 to 20 % of urban road traffic.
STRAIGHTSOL (Strategies and measures for smarter urban freight solutions) is one of several projects co-financed by European Commission that study urban-interurban interfaces and last mile distribution promoting efficient and sustainable solutions for urban-interurban shipments and urban logistics. This is expected to be achieved through:
1. The development of a new impact assessment framework for measures applied to urban-interurban freight transport interfaces.
2. The support of a set of innovative field demonstrations showcasing improved urban-interurban freight operations in Europe.
3. The application of the impact assessment framework to the live demonstrations and develop specific recommendations for future freight policies and measures.
More information on STRAIGHTSOL is available from www.straightsol.eu.
In this paper we focus on one of the STRAIGHTSOL demonstrations that took place in Oslo in 2012 and was organised by GS1 Norway. In the demonstration it was shown how automatic data capturing, standardisation and sharing of event information associated with freight transport makes it possible to harmonize urban transport to achieve environmental and economic benefits.

Challenges with the existing solution
Many shop owners neither know when their goods will arrive to their store, nor how many items they will receive at a time. This is because stock management is handled at chain levels and not by the individual stores. Some shops engage extra staff when they expect deliveries, while others accept to use extra hours before all arrived items are placed on the shelves or in an appropriate storage area. In either case, it would be very useful for the shopkeepers to receive delivery event information from the ‘checkpoints’ in the transport value chain.
Moreover, in shopping centres, there are often no manual control of the receipts in the unloading areas that are shared by many retail shops. The norm is that the driver has to accompany the goods from the unloading area to the individual store to receive the receipt of delivery. During this time the truck is occupying space in the unloading area. Slow in-house deliveries at shopping centres thus increases congestion in the unloading areas and reduces the efficiency of freight deliveries.

The solution
The basic concept of the demonstration was to collect information on shipments destined for shops in Stovner senter, which is a shopping centre in Oslo with approximately 100 shops. The centre receives deliveries from multiple warehouses in the Oslo area. Information on shipments destined for Stovner was collected at different critical points through the last-mile delivery and shared with the final receivers of goods.
Close to the freight receipt at Stovner senter a storage room was made available as a buffer storage area. Entry to this area was handled by a guard from the shopping centre's security company, who could also bring the goods from the buffer storage area to the shops when requested by the shops. The use of this buffer storage area was optional, but facilitated faster stoppage times for trucks.

Outcomes and effects
The most immediate effects of the demonstration were more efficient in-house logistics at Stovner senter in terms of more efficient handling processes and shorter in-house delivery times to store, better information on expected delivery times and better planning of shop activities due to better last mile supply chain visibility. For the logistics service providers, the demonstrated solution also introduces reduced waiting time at goods receipt at the Shopping Centre and savings in terms of faster delivery times because drivers need shorter time to deliver because of the use of a buffer storage area.
In the paper, we present immediate effects that could be observed and the results from the evaluation of the demonstration, including environmental effects, efficiency considerations and financial viability.

Publisher

Association for European Transport