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Collaboration needed in strained last mile market

3 MIN READJanuary 08, 2020

With strained infrastructure and peaking urbanisation, the demands for last mile logistics may be growing too quickly for its own good. Klaus Stodick, Speaker on City Logistics for UPS, talked to the GRI Hub at GRI Light Industrial and Logistics 2019, Amsterdam, to highlight some of the factors in play.


What discussions have you been taking part in, and what are some of your takeaways from today?

So I just came from the session on real estate in relation to city logistics, and it provided great insights for all on the requirements and game changers in the space. I found it very interesting, and was able to give some input on what some of the main problems in the sector were. For instance with the climate problem, there are changes being made to move away from diesel vehicles and towards electric vehicles, and micro hubs that are beginning to provide bicycles as another solution to last mile in congested areas. The real estate heads that I talked to all seemed very keen in learning more about business-customer solutions. 


What are some of the main challenges that logistics is facing right now?

In terms of last mile, it would be infrastructure. There’s so much going on in the city, especially now with more people who are attracted to working in the city. There’s a lot of pressure now on existing and developing infrastructure that really weren’t built to handle this volume of people. This isn’t helped by the fragmented supply chain market, which are now essentially competing to bring more and more service into the picture. And the only real solution here seems to be collaboration. 


Are there any conditions that are driving the sector forward?

Certainly collaboration, as I mentioned, seems to be becoming a lot more common. I’m noticing a lot, likeminded companies and stakeholders are coming together and sitting down to come up with better solutions and better optimisation, and this comradery sets a great precedent to really set this sector apart from the others. For example, I’ve noticed people sharing their optimised travel routes with other supply chains - perhaps this useful knowledge wouldn’t be so freely shared in other sectors. There’s a lot of positivity in the air. 

Europe's only event dedicated to light industrial and logistics (GRI Light Industrial and Logistics 2020) is set to return on 4-5 November in Amsterdam. Upcoming European events, holding region-dedicated discussions on logistics in the upcoming year, include Deutsche GRI (12 - 13 May), CEE GRI (19 - 20 May) and British & Irish GRI (3 - 4 June).

Article by Matt Harris

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