How Urban Consolidation Centres help optimise road freight

Written By Reagan Nyandoro


Panorama of Bristol by photographer Robert Elsmore

Urban road freight poses challenges ranging from congestion of inner city streets to air pollution from heavy goods vehicles, and initiatives like City Logistics are working to tackle these while cutting logistics costs and improving road freight delivery times.

One solution that is gaining traction is the use of Urban Consolidation Centres, or UCCs, which collect large quantities of goods that are all intended for the same approximate destination, so that final-mile delivery can be made more efficient.

Dr Daniela Paddeu of the University of the West of England in Bristol has published several papers based around the successful Bristol-Bath Freight Consolidation Centre, which was created in 2002 to serve Bristol and only extended to Bath quite recently in 2011.

She writes in Case Studies on Transport Policy: “Urban freight consolidation centres are part of the City Logistics measures that aim to reduce the negative impacts related to urban freight transport activities, whilst at the same time providing a more seamless, higher-value logistics experience for their users.

“By collecting the goods destined to the target area and consolidating deliveries into one large delivery made by high-load vehicles, UCCs can relieve congestion and improve air quality.”

In many cases the end result is so seamless that retailers in the Bristol-Bath area do not even realise their shipment came via the UCC – a challenge to awareness but a strong indication that the benefits of UCCs can have few to no perceptible negatives for end-users.

Optimise urban logistics with 3T Group

3T Group provide the 4PL services you need to optimise urban logistics as part of a holistic strategy to cut road freight costs and optimise shipping routes and delivery times.

City Logistics is not an innovation that should be applied in isolation, but as part of a joined-up strategy that takes into account both short-haul and long-haul, urban and rural deliveries.

Learn more about 4PL services from 3T Group and how we can apply them to your urban logistics by calling us today on 0116 2824 111.

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