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parcel deliveries

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  • Simon Norton
    I once came up with the idea of neighbourhood centres where parcels could be off-loaded if one wasn t at home. They would also serve other functions, notably
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 6, 2006
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      I once came up with the idea of neighbourhood centres where parcels could be
      off-loaded if one wasn't at home. They would also serve other functions, notably
      that of creches where parents could drop their children off instead of having to
      drag them around often unwillingly -- and bearing in mind that the problems of
      travelling with children is one of the reasons often given for using cars.

      The way I envisage them working staffing costs would be minimal as local people
      would staff them on a rota basis. So there would just be the cost of the
      building itself, which for a new development would be a relatively small add on
      to the price of the house.

      I believe that the problem of parcel delivery is one of those that have been
      left behind as we have been catapulted into new technologies (e-commerce in this
      case).

      I may say that there have been several occasions when I have wanted to use a
      parcel delivery service to off-load material I acquired during a trip so that I
      didn't have to cart it around for the rest of the trip. For this kind of need
      door to door delivery is exactly what one doesn't want as one can more or less
      guarantee that one won't be there to receive the stuff. Nor is there any
      requirement for urgency, so one wouldn't want to pay the premium charged by Red
      Star for guaranteed same/next day delivery. The National Bus Company, the former
      nationalised umbrella company for most of the regional bus operators in England
      and Wales, also provided a parcels service. I used each of them once some time
      ago. I think that the rail one worked out OK except for the problem I had in
      determining when the parcel had arrived (email wasn't around then). However,
      when I used the bus one, I ended up with a huge TNT lorry turning up at my
      doorstep, unasked for and presumably under subcontract to the NBC. Fortunately I
      was there at the time. I'm still not sure whether they used the bus network for
      the "trunk" portion of the delivery, as I would have wanted, and as they seemed
      to imply when I complained.

      Of course in the UK there have also been problems with terrorism which have
      deterred companies involved with passenger transport from getting involved in
      this business. But if people have to collect their stuff from a depot, it is
      important that the depot should be accessible, and rail and bus stations are
      generally much better in this respect than the edge of town industrial estates
      usually used by delivery companies (including our Post Office). When, as happens
      not infrequently, a parcel is held at my local PO sorting office because it
      won't go through my letter box, I always ask for it to be redelivered to my
      office where this problem doesn't arise. I wish there was some way of arranging
      for this to happen without my having to ask on each occasion.

      Simon Norton
    • Tramsol@aol.com
      Simon & all In many debates on freight we deal with freight trains and trucks, with an apparent disregard of the high percentage of deliveries which weigh
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 13, 2006
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        Simon & all

        In many debates on 'freight' we deal with freight trains and trucks, with an apparent disregard of the high percentage of deliveries which weigh under 30Kg (Transportation Alternatives quote that 90% of packages delivered in New York City fit this criterion, and it holds for many cities).

        Thus if we work with human-scale delivery on foot or bicycle (easy with sub-30Kg loads), we can envisage a completely different 'freight' transport model, often able to use otherwise wasted space on off-peak trains and coaches.   

        Dave Holladay
        Transportation Management Solutions
        6 Woodlands Terrace
        Glasgow
        G3 6DH

        0141 332 4733 P
        0141 354 0076 F
        07710 535 404 M
      • Anzir Boodoo
        Dave, ... I m not sure about delivering much on foot that could weigh 30kg, but cycle trailers and space on trains and coaches (a next generation xTransit and
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 15, 2006
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          Dave,
          On 13 Jan 2006, at 20:58, Tramsol@... wrote:

          > Simon & all
          >
          > In many debates on 'freight' we deal with freight trains and
          > trucks, with an apparent disregard of the high percentage of
          > deliveries which weigh under 30Kg (Transportation Alternatives
          > quote that 90% of packages delivered in New York City fit this
          > criterion, and it holds for many cities).
          >
          > Thus if we work with human-scale delivery on foot or bicycle (easy
          > with sub-30Kg loads), we can envisage a completely different
          > 'freight' transport model, often able to use otherwise wasted space
          > on off-peak trains and coaches.

          I'm not sure about delivering much on foot that could weigh 30kg, but
          cycle trailers and space on trains and coaches (a next generation
          xTransit and internet enabled "Red Star" if you like - the former
          British Rail Parcels service for the non UK folk here) seem like part
          of the solution. Has anyone investigated such things in London post
          Congestion Charge?

          (we had a double mattress delivered last week, certainly below 30kg,
          not not suitable for bus, coach or cycle/foot transport. A surprising
          amount of furniture available from the likes of Ikea is also under
          30kg, Perhaps we could set a lower criterion? I wonder what
          proportion of deliveries are under 10kg in this age of internet
          shopping?)

          --
          Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
          transcience, Leeds Innovation Centre, 103 Clarendon Road, LEEDS LS2 9DF
        • Tramsol@aol.com
          Anzir, Have you not heard of a sack truck? Typically designed to carry 1 cwt bags of whatever took your fancy (1 cwt = 0.05 Ton or roughly 50Kg). The
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 15, 2006
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            Anzir,

            Have you not heard of a sack truck?  Typically designed to carry 1 cwt bags of whatever took your fancy (1 cwt = 0.05 Ton or roughly 50Kg).  The wanderings of shopping trolleys are in my opinion more a pragmatic solution to the need for a simple wheeled personal freight transport system than antisocial activities of those up to no good, the phenomenum has developed with the decline in availablility and use of the traditional shopping basket on wheels, well summed up by Flanders & Swann in their 7 Ages of Woman parody on Shakespeare.  "  ... a credit to the makers, you can wheel it to the bakers to the butchers and then back to Shepherd's Bush..... the children love to ride it when it's got the coal inside it or the washing, it has every kind of use....."

            I have in my time shifted many items with a karrimor K2 and webbing straps, taking care to ensure the load is correctly distributed.  This has included 4 settees (all but the 6 ft one being taken on the bike) a range of mattresses (including 2 new single mattresses stiffened with skis to keep them from waving around).  30Kg is typically an infantry pack (plus weapon) which a soldier is expected to be able to operate with on the battlefield.

            I'll get details of Andrea Casalotti's work with ZERO and his pioneering PUDO concept applied for a car-free day in Covent Garden, when all deliveries and despatched items were transferred from/to motor vehicles at a transfer location, and included a fridge and a large consignment of shoes.

            In York the Cyclus Maximus One Less Car trikes were delivering beer from the local brewery, offering rapid response to demand, whilst not shaking the barrels up and requiring the stuff to settle on arrival.  how much does a (full) barrel of beer weigh?

            In Limburg (IIRC) the provision of cargo bikes for a trial to a printer, enabled finished goods to be delivered to most customers with minimal double handling.  The Brox HPV's could be loaded directly alongside the machines, wheeled through double doors into the street, ridded to the delivery address, and then wheeled directly into the customers premises to be unloaded at the storage point.  Try that with a small van!

            Dave Holladay
            Transportation Management Solutions
            6 Woodlands Terrace
            Glasgow
            G3 6DH

            0141 332 4733 P
            0141 354 0076 F
            07710 535 404 M
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