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Making Urban Freight Distribution Sustainable

Port cities around the world deal with the difficult task of accommodating freight distribution in busy and congested urban settings. Current infrastructure in these cities does not adequately meet the needs of incoming and outgoing traffic and cargo activity. Along with normal urban bustle, port cities often have increased congestion from cruise line terminals and tourist attractions in the area. But sustainable urban development and restructuring can change current deficiencies in freight mobility. Europe and other nations aim to increase energy efficiency and improve the productivity in the urban freight industry through regulation (and deregulation), by improving communications, and upgrading technologies.

Mobility Issues In Port Cities

The status quo of freight distribution in urban areas must be improved upon for the quality of life for city dwellers and for cost savings by a reduction in fossil fuels and implementation of more efficient freight logistics. Considering the weight and size of shipments, and the speed with which they must arrive to their intended location, current practices are not completely compatible with sustainable methods. Issues include high levels of noise and air pollution, traffic congestion, and increased greenhouse gases from transport vehicles.

The Future Of Sustainable Urban Freight Distribution

Both the private and public sectors must be involved for positive change to occur. Infrastructure must be developed and roads updated to support the complex needs of distribution. Vehicle technology, specifically the use of green vehicles, can be part of the solution to create a more sustainable industry. As renewable energy sources are embraced, cities will become cleaner and safer. In case studies, technologies were used to improve traffic monitoring, like the installation of a GIS system that allows traffic management. Adding bus lanes and metro lines can help with the flow of traffic and reduces vehicles on the road. Enhanced communication and new business practices can ensure that a framework is in place for improved processes.

Public authorities and private sector decision makers must come together to improve upon port city sustainability and freight logistics. Through cooperative action and sustainable development, the face of the urban freight industry will change for the better.