Urban freight challenges.

 Freight transportation movement plays a significant role in the economic activities of most metropolises. It supports key economic sectors within the urban center such as the retail centers which are the primary wealth generators for most municipal metros (Allen, 2011). Furthermore freight transportation’s city movement is noted to be contributing between 20 % and 30 % of total vehicle kilometers, it would seem to be quite a small margin in magnitude but it has considerable adverse environmental, economic and social consequences to the urban city (Allen, 2011;Dablanc, 2007).

Several issues suffice due to the freight transportation movement within urban center and Morris et al (1998) noted them as for instance the congestion subsequent to an increase in commercial vehicles such as trucks, vans or pick-up trucks. The second issue that is prevalent is the lack of parking, loading and unloading bays within the metropolis due to old building features or limited road characteristics. The latter in most cases demand that couriers to circle around in the vicinity looking for parking bays leading further to road challenges.

The third issue is lack of enforcement and security within the urban center vicinity. It’s primarily due to the reality shown above in the freight transportation is the reason why we chose to undertake a research on one of the prime and pertinent Issues of Freight transportation’s which is “lastmile”. According to NCFRP Report 23 (2013) “last mile”: “represent the final haul of shipment to its end receiver, be it a shop, a business or home”.

There has been a considerable focus on the urban freight movement through-out the world urban areas making substantial strides in the policy making and collaboration with the private sector in achieving the efficient functioning of the industry. Cities like Paris, Chicago, London, and New York initiating policies on traffic, access, parking regulations and delivery windows (NCFRP Report 23, 2013; Wittlov,2012; Allen, 2011). Subsequent to shift of perspective of policymakers and private sectors in freight  due to shared objectives in economy, society and environmentally. Wittlov (2012) argues and put more emphasis on the importance of an integrated approach, explaining that is of necessity in achieving fundamental results in urban movement efficiency and effectiveness relative to freight transportation.

Government transportation policies have an impact on the challenges found in road freight. Primarily due to the fact that government is in charge of policy formulation, development and execution of regulatory functions (National Freight logistics strategy, 2005). Furthermore soft infrastructure allows the industry to function and operate in a sound environment that has checks and balances to avert abuse, identify gaps and improvement. 

The South African government should pay considerable attention on issues of urban freight. Most metropolitan cities in South Africa are not doing well in terms of planning for urban freight. Particularly last mile challenges that tend to hinder the city's primary objectives in terms of economic, social and environment objectives. Moreover it the freight industry that service important sectors within an urban center.


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