Cross River Partnership (CRP), a non-profit partnership organisation, has launched a new Urban Logistics Hub online resource to help boost last mile deliveries across London.
The new webpage has been developed on behalf of the Central London Sub-Regional Transport Partnership in response to the findings from the recently published study ‘The Potential for Urban Logistics Hubs in Central London’.
The new hub hopes to facilitate collaboration between sustainable freight logistics companies, who are actively searching to occupy a central London location and local authorities and landowners, who are looking to advertise their vacant spaces to prospective freight companies.
The CRP said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has accelerated the mass emergence of online delivery systems for the retail sector and beyond, leading to an increase in deliveries in urban areas and changing the logistics landscape in cities across the world.
With more robust policies forthcoming, such as the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone and the Mayor of London’s aim to be a zero carbon city by 2030, logistics and delivery operators are having to adapt to address the impacts of increased demand, poor air quality and the climate emergency.
CRP’s engagement with local authorities, landowners and business improvement districts has identified an initial 29 central London sites that have potential to be used as urban logistics hubs.
These sites include car parks, empty railway arches, garages and industrial units.
The Urban Logistics Hub webpage displays the approved potential logistics hub sites with an interactive map, essentially bridging the gap between site owner and logistics provider.
It is hoped that more sites will be identified through CRP’s recently launched Defra-funded Clean Air Villages 4 (CAV4) project, which aims to deliver ambitious freight solutions for a clean air business recovery from Covid-19 in collaboration with 26 partners.
CRP will be adding more functionality to the webpage over the next few months, showcasing potential locations for rapid charging hubs on the map, in addition to possible links with future river freight logistics, which will further develop new relationships between site owners and infrastructure providers.
Laura Jacklin, CRP senior project officer, said: "We hope this map will show partners and stakeholders the potential for collaboration on sustainable logistic plans, while improving air quality and decreasing congestion in central London.
“We look forward to seeing the innovative projects that will come from the webpage and interactive map.”
Local authorities and landowners can request to advertise their sites on the map and logistics companies can express an interest in a particular site to occupy (users can get in touch with CRP by emailing project officer Ross Phillips - [email protected]).