Working with parcel carriers in the UK, the FTC2050 project examines the potential for closer operational collaboration between carriers to reduce urban traffic and energy demand whilst maintaining customer service levels. The project evaluates to what extent collaboration can develop within a commercial setting or whether a 3rd party ‘Freight Traffic Controller’ (FTC) would be necessary to ensure equitable distribution of demand across a city.
The key research objectives are to:
- Investigate the collective transport and energy impacts of current parcel carrier activities in urban areas;
- Create a database to gather and interrogate collection and delivery schedules supplied by different carriers;
- Use the data with a series of optimisation algorithms to investigate the potential transport and energy benefits if carriers were to share deliveries and collections more equitably between them and develop tools to help visualise those benefits;
- Evaluate what business models would be needed to enable carriers to collaborate in this way;
- Investigate the role a 3rd party ‘Freight Traffic Controller’ could play in stimulating collaboration between carriers to reduce energy demand and vehicle impacts across a city;
- Identify the key legal and privacy issues associated with the receipt, processing and visualisation of such collaborative schedules;
- Consider the wider application of this approach to other sectors of the urban freight transport market.
The full report with the analysis of the parcels market and parcel carriers’ operations in the UK can be downloaded here.