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Night freight transportation reduces time, costs and pollution

Pollution in Bogotá could be reduced by 42% if goods loading and unloading were carried out during the night.

Bogotá D. C., 04 de abril de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

With nighttime loading and unloading productivity increase was estimated at 35%.

One of the advantages is lack of traffic jams in public highways.

Nighttime operation has a bearing on traffic accident reduction.

The pilot was hoping to assess the results of distributing demand during the day, using the same infrastructure only during the night.

This is one of the most important conclusions of a pilot study performed by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Faculty of Engineering Society, Economy and Productivity Research Group (SEPRO, for its Spanish acronym) on the incidence of urban logistics of non-conventional schedules in the city of Bogotá. 

In general, the speed increased 100% and on average vehicles improved their travel times by 45%. The study took into account 22 journeys from different participating companies and used a schedule between 7 pm and 5 am. 

One of the most relevant aspects of the study is that the 17 participating companies are important logistical operators including Bavaria, Nutresa, and Alkosto

UNal carried out this project for the Invest “Logistic Performance Improvement Coordination Unit.” Invest is an agency which promotes investment in Bogotá created by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce and the office of the Mayor of Bogotá. 

Professor José Holguín Veras of New York based Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a global pioneering institute for logistics and transportation in the US was the main advisor to SEPRO. 

The pilot project showed conclusive data on mobility, socioenvironmental impact, productivity and competitiveness, which could in the future change to nighttime loading and unloading of merchandise in Bogotá. 

For instance one journey which during the day could take as much as 2 and half hours was carried out at night with a 40 minute time reduction. 

A similar experience was carried out in New York, where 400 logistic firms are now loading and unloading merchandise at night. They are saving, on average with respect to daytime schedules 10 days on journeys for the whole city truck fleet, which makes approximately 45,000 trips a day and pollution has diminished between 20% and 70%. 

The project carried out in Bogotá showed that carbon monoxide levels fell 42%, displaying a positive environmental impact. Furthermore noise levels also fell as well as stress and operator fatigue. 

 “The pilot program showed that operation costs, fuel and time savings justify investment,” said UNal Engineer and Professor Wilson Adarme. Performing the same delivery during the night represents 35% in savings compared to the same delivery during the day. 

According to Holguín, the next step is exploiting the success of this pilot program. 

While implementing the model could imply making adjustments including occupational processes and family life, in the US for instance, workers and drivers changed their habits and procedures. Companies signed code of conduct agreements to diminish noise during the operation such as closing doors and unloading activities. 

However the expert says that new studies with rewards for logistical operation and freight companies which are not robust are pertinent. In fact in USA this variable, in this case monetary, has enabled making the model stable. “There are no easy fixes for a complex system,” said the expert. 

The research project used 40 GPS systems. Technology is precisely other of the challenges of an eventual implementation. In this sense big data management, integrating technological applications and open data are issues pending for logistics of this type. 

ArcGIS, an IT system to gather organize, manage, analyze and share geographic information was key to obtaining data from the pilot program.

(Por: Fin/HEVC/MLA/JAAH
)
N.° 420

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