Why we need to integrate Logistics into future plans for our cities

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

As more people move to cities, and urbanisation grows at an exponential rate, the pressure on sound infrastructure and future-proof city planning is rising.

The flow of goods through cities is higher than it has ever been, and this increasing trade and congestion of the economy is only set to grow as we move forward. The rise of E-Commerce has seen consumer demands calling for ever-increasing convenience and quicker service times; One-day delivery is the norm nowadays, and this means logistics and transportation businesses have to use their resources as productively as possible to manage demand effectively.

Quicker, more reliable, and more regular delivery and distribution services are in heightened demand, and the adoption and use of novel technologies has played an essential role in allowing these developments to exist.

Experts have suggested that in the past, logistics has been side-lined when planning urban areas and urban expansion, but they also outline the necessity of integrating logistics into cities of the future to assist the economy.

With E-Commerce growing alongside urban populations, these logistics operations have been brought into the spotlight, which has meant they must be looking for techniques to address congestion, the environmental impacts of certain economic processes, and greenhouse gas emissions in our cities.

We are going to explore this upward trend of e-commerce, the downside of urbanisation, the subsequent strain placed on freight logistics and transportation operations to meet growing demand, as well as the need to integrate Logistics into planning for sustainable cities.

The downside of Urbanisation & the prioritisation of efficiency

More goods are passing through our cities than ever before. 75% of the world’s resources are used by cities, and they are responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. In the UK, the 63 largest towns and cities are responsible for almost half of our total emissions, with London contributing 11% of that statistic.

People expect fast, reliable delivery options, regardless of the products they’re buying and where they’re coming from. These expectations are both responding to, and encouraging technological developments in e-commerce and delivery. Furthermore, the demand of seamless reverse logistics is rising, as people want to easily return goods to the company they purchased from, quickly and conveniently.

All of these developments have placed huge pressures on the complexity of logistics operations, as the sector has had to adapt quickly, and balance these demands with the reduction of environmental impacts.

By 2030, there is predicted to be a 36% increase of delivery vehicles in our cities, so it is currently more vital than it has ever been to address the environmental implications of increasingly complex distribution processes.