Last Mile Delivery

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UPS Hub & CycleLast mile deliveries are posing major challenges for municipalities across the world. The changing nature of urban economies and supply chain management, and the growth of online retail, drives increasing volumes of goods deliveries in city centres. This affects the wider urban environment in terms of traffic congestion, emissions, and quality of life. Concerned with these impacts, Dublin City Council’s City Centre Transportation Projects team partnered with Smart Dublin to look for technology-enabled solutions.
This initiative, co-funded by Enterprise Ireland and Dublin City Council, in partnership with Belfast City Council, is part of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Programme. This is the first joint SBIR between Dublin and Belfast. It launched in 2018 with a call for smart, low cost solutions for optimising freight deliveries, and easing congestion and emissions, in both urban centres.
The applications were innovative and wide ranging, including smart loading bays and virtual loading bays booked via an app, crowd sourced deliveries where shoppers bring goods to neighbours, new e-bikes and e-walkers, and mini Urban Consolidation Centres which take in larger consignments of deliveries and redistribute to low emission transport modes for the ‘last mile’.
Phase One focused on research, feasibility studies and developing Proof of Concepts. Four projects progressed to Phase Two which focuses on tangible pilots on city streets. These include deployments of smart loading bays, Urban Consolidation Centres , new route optimisation software, e-bikes and e-walkers, which are now live. The pilots run until late 2020, by which time their potential  to assist in optimising deliveries, and tackling congestion and emissions, will have been demonstrated.