Company sought to run Southampton distribution centre
16 July 2013
Southampton City Council has begun the search to find an operator to run a Sustainable Distribution Centre (SDC).
It is hoped the project will bring many ‘green’ benefits to the city and surrounding region through enabling businesses to have a more environmentally sustainable way to receive their deliveries into an area, whilst offering a cost effective storage solutions.
The SDC will offer its services to Southampton and the surrounding regions including Winchester, Eastleigh, Hedge End, Totton and the New Forest. It is envisaged that customer goods deliveries will be received from suppliers 24/7, then either stored or grouped with other loads destined for the same locations, and delivered together, thus reducing the number of delivery vehicles travelling into that location. This will have environmental benefits by reducing CO2 levels, particulates and NOx emissions, while having a positive impact on congestion in the areas that the SDC operates.
The SDC builds on the successes of other goods delivery models that consolidate freight deliveries, and are already operating in places like Bristol and Sheffield, with the addition of a comprehensive warehousing solution making it an attractive option to a wider variety of users.
Through the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the Council will seek to get a competitive price from the outset for any organisation wanting to use the SDC for freight consolidation and storage. The Council gave the green light for the SDC after conducting a viability study that concluded Southampton was geographically and economically well placed for such a scheme.
Southampton’s Cabinet member for Environment and Transport Cllr Thorpe said: "The project is part of our commitment to sustainability and a number of organisations private and public have already expressed interest in using the facility including the council. By consolidating loads on the outskirts of Southampton the SDC will cut HGV traffic and offer low rate storage enabling a more strategic approach to be adopted to retail and office space.”
"Reports have indicated that traffic levels in the City may rise by 40% by 2026, however, it is expected that the SDC will reduce by up to 75% the number of HGV vehicles for its users, with an anticipated reduction of up to 6,900 vehicle movement each year. It will also provide other benefits such as improved air quality from reduced emissions, increase the opportunity for night time deliveries and enable more efficient and timely deliveries for regional businesses.”
Both ‘users’ and ‘suppliers’ can benefit from the SDC. ‘Users’ can take advantage of more timely direct deliveries, reduce the need for expensive onsite storage space whilst enabling a more efficient use of retail/office space and potentially greater opportunity for income generation. Whereas ‘suppliers’ will benefit from fuel savings and reduced delivery costs by cutting out the last mile of delivery with the frequent time delay and increased wear and tear on the vehicles associated with that.
It is expected that the SDC will be fully operational by the end of the year.