Distribution in urban areas is becoming more complex due to the (justified) desire to improve livability, while the demand for deliveries is actually rising. On the one hand, local governments are attempting to improve livability by imposing restrictions such as time windows, zero emission zones, recommended routes and weight limits. On the other, businesses are keen to minimize their distribution costs while drivers and logistics companies have the not unreasonable expectation that they should be able to do their jobs. Thankfully, technology makes it possible to not only deal with this growing complexity more effectively when it comes to planning deliveries, but also to adjust the planning in real time as necessary.
Sharing and merging data
To get the most out of the technology, all the links in the supply chain must have access to high-quality, usable and real-time information about the last mile – and that is precisely the information that Lastmile.info will provide. Besides merging all the available datasets from government authorities (including the Dutch National Data Warehouse for Traffic Information [NDW], other traffic platforms and visibility platforms), we will also be making use of the community (crowd-sourcing) and artificial intelligence to validate the information.
If we work together on this as a community, other parties in the logistics sector will soon be able to share information with each other about planning and disruptions. This will enable highways authorities to set real time priorities and take a more dynamic regulatory approach in order to further improve urban livability – such as by allowing ‘preapproved’ noiseless, emission-free vehicles to gain access to a delivery slot and route outside of regular time windows.
Lastmile.info is powered by the European Union and the European Regional Development Fund. Simacan cooperates with Breda University of Applied Sciences, Conundra, the Municipality of Tilburg and Jumbo Supermarkets. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Simacan users, Stichting Uniforme Transport Code (SUTC), GS1 and many other parties in the logistics sector also contribute. Together we are building a high-quality and open data source: Lastmile.info.