New York City Introduces Off-Hour Deliveries Program to Combat Congestion

Maximizing the use of warehouse and transportation assets for increased productivity is a key goal of shippers and leading logistics businesses. Making better use of limited roadways and curbspace during the off-hours is an essential component of a logistics and supply chain management strategy.

Dense urban centers are grappling with increased congestion. Due to limited curb space, cities are challenged with implementing strategies that manage streets more efficiently. As the nation’s largest city, New York is no stranger to this reality, being a large consumer of goods.

The city’s growing population and changes to the nature of freight activity are increasing the demand for the delivery of goods and services. Ninety percent of goods delivered within NYC are made by truck. In 2016, there was an average of 120,429 trucks crossing the NYC boundary daily, and by 2045, tonnage carried by trucks is expected to grow to nearly 312 million, up from 186 million tons in 2012.

Freight Increase

Recent results from DOT’s 2017 Citywide Mobility Survey indicate that 41 percent of New Yorkers receive a delivery of some kind at their home at least a few times a week. The explosion in online retail together with the city’s population and economic growth means more and more trucks are carrying even more freight into the city.

Recognizing that the status quo is no longer acceptable, and building on the success of the 2009 pilot program, New York City Department of Transportation is keen on collaborating with shippers, transporters, and receivers to rethink their delivery schedule and shift to off-hour deliveries (OHD) with the goal of targeting 900 business establishments by the end of 2019.

The OHD program is designed to encourage deliveries between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. within NYC, specifically Midtown and Lower Manhattan and the downtown areas of Brooklyn and Jamaica where there are high pedestrian volumes and limited curb space.

There are real operational and financial benefits for OHD that companies can realize as part of their delivery strategy for New York City. OHD generates less congestion and emissions, making use of available curb space during the late evening, night and early morning hours, providing benefits for the broader residential and business community alike.

Partnerships between the freight industry and their customers are fundamental to the success of any freight demand management initiative. Interventions by the city, shippers, transporters, and receivers are needed to ensure goods reach their destination at the right time and for the right price.

NYC DOT’s Office of Freight Mobility plays this unique role in this partnership as well. Improving NYC’s freight network is crucial to New York City’s continued economic and population growth providing for safe, reliable, environmentally responsible delivery of goods. Moving delivery times to less congested periods of the day, and adopting freight demand management techniques by the city’s businesses will contribute to mitigating the impacts of freight movement. Inducing these behavior changes within the freight industry provides for a more sustainable NYC.

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