Denmark picks up the baton for night-time deliveries

Tunbridge Wells, UK:  The Freight Transport Association met with a delegation including its Danish equivalent, International Transport Denmark, and representatives from the bread company Lantmännen Schulstad and the Danish Transport Authority in London this week to discuss the introduction of nighttime deliveries to Denmark.

Along with the Noise Abatement Society, the Department for Transport, Transport and Travel Research and Sainsbury’s, the Freight Transport Association shared the results of the recently completed Quiet Deliveries Demonstration Scheme (QDDS) which took place in England and gave the visitors an insight into the practicalities, benefits and challenges of delivering goods out-of-hours.

Natalie Chapman, the Freight Transport Association’s head of policy for London, said: “There is a strong appetite among the Danes to introduce night-time delivery trials similar to those which we completed earlier this year.

“The demonstrable environmental, economic and road safety benefits of delivering goods out-of-hours are hard to ignore and we look forward to working with them more closely to help them develop a robust methodology that works for them.”

Earlier this year, Transport Minister Mike Penning gave his backing to night-time deliveries as a ‘win-win’ for the environment and business, stating that if done correctly, delivering out-of-hours need not represent a nuisance to residents.

Mogens Therkelsen, owner of the transport company H P Therkelsen and chair of International Transport Denmark, said: “We were impressed by the rigorous and scientific nature of the QDDS trials and it was invaluable to learn first-hand how FTA, NAS and the Department for Transport worked together to create fair and meaningful trials. We hope to apply these experiences carefully as we look to do the same in Denmark.”

Four of the six trials, managed by Transport & Travel Research, were completed, with two were delayed by factors and planning restrictions beyond the scheme’s control. “Encouragingly, as well as evidence of improved fuel consumption, no residential complaints were logged in two of the completed trials and where nominal complaints were raised in the remainder, swift remedial action was found to be entirely satisfactory,” the Freight Transport Association said.

Morag White, Sainsbury’s environment manager for logistics, said: “As a responsible retailer we are always looking to improve our logistics operations and ensure that we use innovation to support deliveries. Our meeting with ITD was encouraging and it’s key that we continue to engage with the industry and stakeholders to share our best practice.”

Lisa Lavia, managing director of the Noise Abatement Society, said: “Interest in the QDDS trials is growing, with several countries seeking to adapt the scheme locally. We know that if best practice is shared and strict guidelines to protect the rights of residents are adhered to, then night-time deliveries are an efficient and pragmatic solution to a growing problem.”

The FTA backs night-time deliveries as a key to mitigating some of the expected disruption to the supply chain caused by the Olympics next year, when there will be more freight to deliver and less time to deliver it in.