The efficient delivery of goods is essential to London’s success. This research project is looking at how we can create smarter, fairer, and more sustainable freight and logistics ecosystems.
Millions of deliveries make journeys through the capital each week, ensuring the ready supply of goods that we all depend on. While the success of freight has contributed to London’s prosperity, increased deliveries have also put pressure on our transport network and environment. Freight and deliveries play a significant role in London’s transport mix, with more than 20 per cent of London’s road network capacity taken up by freight, deliveries, and other commercial vehicles. Before the pandemic, Transport for London estimated that almost 25 per cent of road transport carbon emissions in the capital came from goods vehicles.
Freight and deliveries have kept London ticking throughout lockdowns but the steep increase in online deliveries has made the need to create a more sustainable and efficient freight system even more urgent. The further digitisation of retail and shift to more remote working, as well as the evolution of connected and autonomous vehicles and micromobility technology will interact with these challenges and trends in unpredictable ways. Crucially, these changes also present the freight and logistics industries with new opportunities, marking a period of action in a sector that must change and adapt quickly to avoid stalling its progress on decarbonisation and air quality.
As we move into a new, post-COVID-19 chapter in our history, this project looked at the future of transporting goods around London and other cities, and made recommendations as to how to create smarter, fairer, and more sustainable freight and logistics ecosystems.
This project explored questions including:
- What freight and logistics journeys are being made across London; by what mode and why?
- What impacts can freight have on different Londoners and how can we ensure that policy changes don’t compound existing disadvantage?
- How could we decarbonise London’s freight and logistics industry by 2030?
- What role can new micromobility and other technologies play?