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Creating a logistics centre for downtown Stockholm

Stockholm

By lowering the number of trips made by individual delivery vehicles, the co-transportation of goods can reduce congestion and emissions in the city centre.

city centre
Implementing sustainable mobility

The need for an efficient delivery system in the narrow streets in Stockholm’s medieval Old Town was the main driving force behind this measure. The objective was to reduce the number of small, direct deliveries to restaurants and shops in the Old Town through co-transportation with clean vehicles, leading to an improved environment for residents, visitors and employees in the area.

By introducing a logistics centre for food deliveries, the transport mileage to restaurants was expected to decrease by 65 percent. Estimated energy and emissions savings would be made corresponding to 30,000 km driven by diesel lorries.

How did the measure progress?

The project was delayed as a result of several setbacks. The original plan was to use an electric vehicle for goods delivery. Unfortunately, the truck was destroyed in a garage fire and a new truck had to be purchased. The replacement was a biogas-fuelled vehicle and due to the lengthy delivery time an ordinary diesel truck had to be used in the meantime.

Once the centre was in operation, it soon became obvious that the ordinary delivery timeframe in the area (i.e. 06:00 to 11:00) was not long enough and an application was made for an exemption. Faced with uncertainty about the outcome of the application, the project was unable to take on any new customers delivery capacity was not sufficient. With just a few customers, it was difficult to achieve the objectives related to environmental impacts and efficiency. It also proved too expensive to have an employee in the logistics centre with just two customers. Deliveries were therefore made temporarily from the supplier’s warehouse, and although they were not consolidated with other customers, the vehicle was fully loaded on each occasion. In January 2005, the logistics centre received permission for an exemption from the delivery period and was fully inaugurated in 2006.

Due to the commitment of the delivery company Home2You, the measure was able to continue beyond the end of the TRENDSETTER project. The fact that the number of restaurants in the Old Town was growing was a good indication of the potential for the logistics centre in the future.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The logistic centre reduced the number of delivery trips in the city centre by nine trips per day, and the number of vehicle kilometres by 6 km per day. The centre became an important symbol of a sustainable solution to an urgent problem, and contributed to the acceptance of more radical demands for traffic restrictions. 

For Home2You, a medium-sized company, participation in the measure was a challenging experience. The company did not have sufficient capital or infrastructure to face all the difficulties and setbacks encountered during the measure. Nor did they have marketing resources to capitalise on the positive outcome. However, a positive outcome for Home2You is that it has won support and recognition as a “sustainable company”.

In the future, the measure requires better marketing (e.g. the promotion of restaurants using the logistics centre via a special logo) and coordination among the participating restaurants.

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