The 6 ASLOG proposals selected by the Assises de la Mobilité

The 6 ASLOG proposals selected by the Assises de la Mobilité

Two years after the COP 21, it must be noted that the momentum initiated in France continues. The movement is now double: on one hand, the State is trying to sort, encourage and legislate in order to favor the energetic transition, including in the financial area; on the other hand, Communities who have been the first in line regarding environmental problematics are becoming the spearhead of responsible policies and gather even beyond the frontiers, like the C40 movement initiated by the Mayor of Paris.

In the beginning of September 2017, the State announced the Mobility Summit, organized by the Ministry of Transport, which depends on the Ministry for the ecological transition. The goal: gather, between September and December 2017, the main expectations of all citizens for mobility, with a special attention to everyday transports as well as suburban and rural areas in order to prepare the Law that will be presented on the first semester of 2018. Even if the debates were mainly centered on people’s transportation, they allowed us to approach the stakes of the supply chain through the topic: Urban logistics and intermodality.

In 2015, Aslog offered a contribution gathering 10 propositions for a sustainable urban logistics: shared observations of trends and challenges faced or to be faced by French logisticians. Today, Aslog is proposing an evolution of its positions by contributing to the consultation lead by the French Government. As its initial position, Aslog wishes to support the intertwining of people and goods transportation which requires more and more convergent reflections. Indeed, in a context of growing urbanization combined with consumption trends that favors large scale international transport (ecommerce), the stakes of urban mobility will be those of the people as well as those of the goods they consume. That is why we are trying to identify the ideas that will lead us toward a better integration, mutualization and reduction of common flows.

1- 1. Make the consumer aware of his responsibility towards the environmental impact of the transport solution he picks

E-commerce, for 8% of the consumption, represents between 20 and 25% of transport positions in a city. With the number of parcel growing by 20% each year, it represents more than 100 million extra parcels to deliver on national territory. The flows linked to e-commerce returns and numerous delivery failures (with often a second delivery) emphasize that trend. In practice, the consumer has, more and more often, the choice between different transport solutions: home delivery in 24h, express, with appointment, to a drop off point, in 1 or 2 hours … Those elements are linked to the service and price. Aslog suggests adding an environmental indicator (colored sticker or else) to inform the consumer whether the chosen solution is rather green or on the contrary not respectful of the environment.

In practical terms, it might be necessary to put in place impartial criteria with weighting: mutalisation or not of the flows (a drop off point for example), delivery with green vehicles (electric, NGV, bikes), and delivery with or without appointment and time slot (2 hours) to reduce delivery failures. The consumer could in this case, with full awareness of the environmental impact, choose the transport solution for his purchase. The online seller could also be encouraged to highlight green solutions to enhance his image toward his customers.

2. Create a collaboration between people and goods transportation

People transportation (especially public transport) creates a network and a carrying capacity on defined routes. Using this existing network to transport goods can help reduce the number of delivery vehicles.

There are many examples all over the world. It is the case for the baggage hold in airplanes that can also be used for goods. In some countries (Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Canada or developing countries), bus are used to transport goods. Examples of tramfret are rarer but existed in the past. Tram car or subways are often used in off-peak time, to transport delivery carts.

This proposition aims for the creation of an « urban logistics » section in the state contracts for public transport and transport infrastructure projects. This section might bring specifications on the conditions of use of these infrastructures or material in order to transport some type of goods. A local concertation with transport and logistics professionals could be organized to study all possibilities.

3. Set up a development framework for cyclo-logistics

Cyclo logistics is the use of cargo-bike, freight bicycle, and trailer bikes for proximity urban deliveries. It is less developed in France than in other European countries where the bike culture is more present (The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belgium) or in Japan. It has a real potential for small parcels delivery in crowded urban sectors with a lot of environmental advantages and employment possibilities.

Aslog’s position is to include cyclo-logistics material as delivery transport that could benefit from a bonus when buying or renting. It is also to develop models of bikesharing, just like autosharing, to allow companies to rent freight bicycle from time to time. In a general way, it could be the establishment of a national framework to develop cyclo-logistics that would take into account element like insurance, maintenance or traffic conditions.

This measure fits in with the will to promote the use of bike for personal travel. In addition to sensitize the citizens, there is still a lot to do to make the use of bicycle easier and safer in urban area (road sharing).

4. Favor the installation of urban and suburban logistics areas

The subject is well known, distribution centers or logistics areas must be developed around the cities. The economic model is the real difficulty: those areas are expensive; logisticians do not have the financial means to access these spaces; private owners do not have any economic interest in booking those areas for logistics rather than houses and the State cannot force anyone to do so.
Among the best leads that were mentioned, there are three types of possible interventions by the State or local authorities:

  • Give the local authorities a preemptive right for certain areas particularly favorable to urban logistics (water or rail access point) and avoid the use of these spaces for industrial activities, services or leisure that does not necessitate logistics capacities.
  • Favor projects lead by local communities to create urban logistics spaces like the city of Paris. The rareness of these spaces in big cities justifies that a framework for competitors needs to be installed with criteria not necessarily based on rent level (always low for logistics) but on the effectiveness and environmental advantages. One of the criteria could be the mutualisation of
    different activities at the place including urban logistics activities.
  • Fund innovative projects or large scale urban logistics projects through the Public bank for investments (BPI);

5. Invent the urban logistics container

In order to facilitate goods handling by different operators (transit to the urban area, transshipment, last mile…), we could pursue the work that already started on the creation of a standardized container.

Like the creation of the 20’ and 40’ container for sea freight in the 50s, and following different European projects like Modulushca, the design and standardization of transport boxes of different sizes could help limit the number of empty spaces when loading a truck and therefore optimize the loading level. This proposition follows the article 40 on the Law for an energetic transition and a green growth.

This standardization would also facilitate handling with specialized devices (forklift, pliers, vehicles…). Referring to the 3rd point of this document, loading systems for this type of containers could be installed in public transports or on freight bicycle like quadricycle.

6.Make regulations on urban logistics more coherent and accessible

Showing the significance of urban logistics, more and more French (and European) cities have installed restrictions depending on the size or the energy of vehicles. Even if the situations can vary, some cities adopted similar restrictions. The State could give recommendations regarding these restrictions, in order to ensure a coherence and understanding by all transporters, whether they are French or from another country.

Another problematic is the accessibility of regulations information. The creation of a digital platform would allow centralizing all the information and could be useful to logistics professionals, while giving public authorities a global vision in real time on local policies. Every day, cities change directions of traffic flow, street names and add new restrictions; (per month: more than 20.000 change of street names, more than 2.000 change of traffic flow, more than 3.000 prohibitions to turn and more than 3.000 heavy truck restrictions). Those changes are only known locally. There are thousands of changes each month.

It is nearly impossible to individually collect all this information to update digital maps used for planning and transport optimization (for people and goods). That generates a delay of several months between the local publication and the update on software (when it has been identified). Consequently, calculated routes lack of precision and can even create traffic disturbance: waste of time for users, loss of productivity for professionals…

The objective of this proposition is to give local communities an online app for them to report all modifications. Based on the open-data principle, these modifications would be easily available for users and manufacturers editing mapping software. The delay would be reduced to a couple of weeks instead of months (even days depending on the app). By extension, local communities could update on road work that might disrupt road traffic.