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Mobility Measure

Last Mile delivery of goods

A sustainable urban logistics plan (SULP) shall be compiled for Valletta.

Implementing sustainable mobility

In the recent years, the capital city of Valletta has seen a dramatic rise in the number of catering establishments and boutique hotels, creating an increased demand for the delivery of goods within the city where logistic transport is already very challenging. Coupled with this is the fact that Valletta is the administrative centre of the island hosting major offices and hence being a major employment node.

In order to improve the quality of life of both the residents and the visitors, the last mile delivery of goods using electric vehicles will be piloted in Malta for the first time.

The data collected and the results from this pilot project will be used to develop a SULP; aiming to propose new and innovative ways to make freight transport more sustainable. The SULP will then be integrated into the SUMP for the Valletta region, which is also being developed as part of the DESTINATIONS Project.

Objectives

The following are the objectives which the last mile delivery of goods aims to achieve:

1. Reduce the congestion caused by freight transport in the Valletta Region;

2. Reduce the impact on air quality caused by heavy goods vehicles within the Valletta Region;

3. Test the feasibility of the last mile delivery of goods within the local context;

4. Compile a SULP for the Valletta Region;

5. Further promote electric vehicles;

6. Reduce traffic congestion and journey delays especially during the peak hours;

 

How will this be achieved?

The measure will be implemented in two parts, both being developed in parallel. The first consists of the data collection and the development of a SULP while the second includes the design of the last mile delivery of goods pilot.

The stakeholder consultation being organised as part of the development of the SULP will also be used for the purpose of designing the last mile delivery pilot where the relevant stakeholders can give their input at the design stage.

In Month 18, a specific stakeholder workshop was organised in Valletta where the pilot design was presented. The feedback received assisted in the final design where it was concluded that the initial pilot be done with the courier delivery companies due to the nature of their goods not requiring specific transport conditions and also the due to the fact that was brought up during the workshop that each courier company performs around four delivery trips within the city, on a daily basis. The impact that reducing these trips is expected to have will be clear to residents and commuters to Valletta where congestion and the resultant pollution will be visibly reduced over time.

An essential part of the pilot will be data collection which will be done before the launch of the pilot, during the pilot with the users of the service and following the completion of the pilot. This data will be fed into the SULP and used for future, long-term logistics delivery systems in Valletta.

 

How did the measure progress?

Desktop research and fieldworks including traffic counts were conducted as part of the SULP baseline data report finalised in 2017. This report presented the current scenario and identified the most challenging aspects which need to be addressed imminently. 

As part of the SUMP stakeholder consultation event held in October 2017, a workshop was devoted specifically to logistics. This was the first time that a small group of interested stakeholders met together and discussed the subject of logistics for the city of Valletta. The workshop was led by an expert in the field of freight and logistics. The discussion points from this workshop were used for a more specific half-day workshop with the stakeholders that were identified during the mapping exercise. During this workshop held in February 2018, the plan for the pilot which was being discussed internally and with the few major stakeholders such as the GRTU was presented. The workshop was then devoted to receive feedback from the stakeholders present which included shop owners, Valletta business associations, courier companies, unions and logistics companies. Following this, the pilot was redesigned to take the needs of the users into further consideration.

For the purpose of this pilot, an electric van will be procured. A call for this purchase has already been published three times without any bids. Once this procurement process is concluded and the van is purchased, the relevant marketing is done, the interested participants are engaged and the infrastructure for a consolidation centre and a feeder hub are installed. The preparation for the pilot is envisaged to be concluded by July, following that the one year pilot with courier companies will be launched.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The aim of this pilot project is to be simple but successful. Only such an outcome will gain the required trust from the stakeholders that such systems work. Should the pilot be complicated, the risk of failure is greater and the impacts can be long lasting where the stakeholders will not trust the system again. The results and data collected from this project will help develop a self-sustaining logistics delivery system, which will reduce congestion both from within the capital city and from the immediate approach roads. The positive impacts will be greatly felt considering that delivery times tend to coincide with the rush-hour traffic as thousands commute to Valletta for work and shopping. The reduced congestion will translate into less emissions and therefore a better quality of life for the residents of Valletta and the region.