As firms across London embark on dry runs to test the efficiency of their Olympic strategy, haulage company Jordon Freight are urging businesses to firm up their summer delivery plans
Businesses should be communicating with their haulage firms now if their summer deliveries are time critical, leading freight forwarder Jordon Freight have warned. Jon Swallow, Director of Jordon Freight said: “We have made a concerted effort to liaise with our clients, affected by the Olympic zones, and we would urge others who haven’t been contacted by their freight company to actively approach them. There is a great deal that can be done to minimise disruption to your business, including night time deliveries, it is just a matter of careful, pro-active planning.”
The logistics sector faces a huge challenge in London this summer when it will effectively have to deliver much more, on heavily congested roads, in far less time. The traffic disruption will also affect great swathes of the UK, with Olympic areas in; Cardiff, Weymouth & Portland, Coventry, Newcastle, Manchester,
Glasgow, Windsor & Eton, Cheshunt & Waltham Cross, Sevenoaks, Leigh-On-Sea & Hadleigh and Surrey.
Kicking off on July 27th, the world’s biggest sporting event will be bringing an additional 800,000 people a day into the capital. As well as the extra demand from retailers, pubs, restaurants, and hotels, the logistics industry will face restrictions on movement and daily delivery times. It will involve one of the most protracted periods of traffic disruption the UK has seen in some time, with the Olympics running from 27th July – 12th August and the Paralympics from 29th August – 9th September.
Earlier this year a FTA (Freight Transport Association) survey exposed how unprepared many companies in the supply chain felt faced with what appears to be an Olympic-sized challenge.
Jon added: “No one really knows how much traffic disruption the games will cause and while some businesses may be happy to enter into a situation where they are happy to just accept deliveries when they finally make it through, if you can’t afford this luxury, you need to work with your haulage company now to ensure a smooth and trouble free games.”
Leading businesses across London took part in an unprecedented ‘Stress Test’ ahead of the games.
One of the capital’s largest co-ordinated tests of IT, telecommunications and transport requirements, the ‘Stress Test’, was held in early May 2012, and simulated conditions during the London 2012 Games, when many businesses will employ alternative working arrangements such as flexible hours to alleviate disruption to their operations.
A ‘Stress Test ‘ offers firms a unique opportunity to dry-run the plans they have put in place for the Olympics, to enable them to identify any issues they may need to address ahead of the Games.
Jon said: “It is ironic that while the haulage industry faces, possibly, the most disruption, no such ‘Stress Test’ has been coordinated. TfL have experimented with night time deliveries, lifting the usual night-time, residential restrictions, to assess the impact. It is difficult, however, for this industry to simulate its own ‘Stress Test’ and, as a result, the situation is incredibly unpredictable. We won’t have the luxury of key learnings beforehand, which is why planning ahead is critical.
“It is also important to appreciate that even if you aren’t in Central London, the surrounding areas are also likely to be impacted by the ripple effect.”
Deliveries and collections make up 17 per cent of all traffic in London, with 281,000 freight journeys made in the capital
between Monday and Friday each week. During the 2012 Games, temporary changes to parts of the road network in central and other parts of London will affect routes, parking and loading bays in those areas, which will impact freight deliveries.
At this year’s inaugural 2012 Freight Forum TfL launched a new online postcode resource to help freight companies manage the deliveries they make and plan the routes they use during the 2012 Games. Companies can use the data to check whether individual postcodes in the capital will be affected by the Olympic Route Network (ORN), Central London Zone (CLZ) or road events.