Surflogh goes to Cambridge
SURFLOGH’s Edinburgh Napier partner, Dr Jonathan Cowie, presented some of the findings coming out of the project’s pilot initiatives at the Workshop on Sustainable Road Freight hosted by the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. This was a n important part of a wider study examining the underlying economics of last mile consolidation.
In the course of the presentation, key supply side issues were identified, which included the structure of road freight costs, delivery as an intermediate good, economies of scope, freight as a private good and finally cost as a decisive factor in the last mile choice of mode. Demand side factors were also examined in the form of the paradox of last mile consolidation, economies of scale and city size, and finally bottom up v top down approaches to smart urban consolidation initiatives.
The presentation was well received and the follow-up discussions centred around the complexity of the urban freight market (and a crucial need for research to understand this better), the main issue of consolidation of loads rather than consolidation centres per se, and that key to success in any such venture is that it needs to provide a clear service to potential clients.