Freight Traffic Control 2050: transforming the energy demands of last-mile urban freight through collaborative logistics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment

Abstract

CONTEXT OF THE RESEARCH: Freight transport accounts for 16% of all motorised road vehicle activity in British towns and cities and is therefore a major consumer of fossil fuels and contributor to CO2 and air pollution. In London, road freight transport accounts for 23%, 36% and 39% of total road-based CO2, NOx and PM10 emissions respectively. Van traffic is forecast to grow strongly as a result of:
1) Growing demand for new ways of buying goods and fulfilling deliveries including online shopping.
2) Expanding urban populations through greater levels of urbanisation and migration patterns.
3) Urban de-industrialisation and the rise of the service-based economy.
4) Increasing demand for outsourced servicing functions such as the provision of utilities and construction.
5) Logistics sprawl, with warehouses relocated to the edge of the urban area result in longer journeys.

Unlike many other sectors, the freight industry has few barriers to new entrants and is a highly competitive marketplace characterised by low-profit margins and a proliferation of operators. Due to the fierce competition that exists, these carriers traditionally operate in isolation of each other with poor vehicle utilisation rates and delivery rounds that overlap, leading to increased traffic congestion, pollution and demands for energy.
Aims and Objectives: Our research vision is to understand the extent to which closer operational collaboration between parcel carriers offers the potential to reduce urban traffic and energy demand whilst still maintaining customer service levels, and to what extent such relationships can develop naturally within a commercial setting or whether a 3rd party 'Freight Traffic Controller' (FTC) would be instrumental to ensure the equitable distribution of demand across an urban area. Our key research objectives are to:
1. Investigate the collective transport and energy impacts of current parcel carrier activities;
2. Create a database to gather and interrogate collection and delivery schedules supplied by different carriers;
3. Use the data with a series of optimisation algorithms to investigate the potential transport and energy benefits if carriers were to share deliveries and collections more equitably between them and develop tools to help visualise those benefits;
4. Evaluate what business models would be needed to enable carriers to collaborate in this way;
5. Investigate the role a 3rd party 'Freight Traffic Controller' could play in stimulating collaboration between carriers to reduce energy demand and vehicle impacts across a city;
6. Identify the key legal and privacy issues associated with the receipt, processing and visualisation of such collaborative schedules.
POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS AND BENEFITS: Our research outcomes will be trialled by TNT and Gnewt Cargo as part of the project and will provide them and other carriers with evidence of the tangible benefits from adopting collaborative collection and delivery schedule management for better utilising their vehicles in urban centres. Should the business models prove successful, they will be transferable to other important sectors of urban freight transport (e.g. construction, waste, food and service-based logistics). We will also provide policy insight to Transport for London and other urban planning authorities into the merits of the FTC concept for controlling freight vehicles entering their urban centres and aiding their directive of introducing CO2 free city logistics by 2030. System designers looking to commercially develop the FTC concept will benefit from our approaches for integrating, modelling and visualising vast data sets for collaborative decision support, and how to navigate the commercial and privacy issues associated with handling multi-client data. The Operational Research community will benefit from the optimisation and gaming models as they will give a new insight into how such tools can be effectively used with very large data sets.

Planned Impact

Who will benefit from the project?

Those who will immediately benefit from the work are the courier and parcel service providers who are segregated into: i) National Post (where licensed operators include TNT Post, UK Mail, and Secured Mail) ii) Courier Service Providers (catering for the same-day delivery market) iii) Express Delivery (carriers who provide premium time-sensitive services such as next-day guaranteed delivery e.g. DHL Express, Fedex Express) iv) Parcel Delivery (carriers providing a non-premium delivery service, primarily for the B2C e.g. Hermes, Yodel, DPD) v) Lifestyle Couriers a who are self-employed owner-drivers who work on a freelance basis mainly for parcel carriers. Other major beneficiaries will be Local Authority freight planners and traffic control centre managers attempting to manage the flow of freight vehicles through their urban centres; traffic management system designers and logistics optimisation software developers; academics and the general public.

How will they benefit from the project?

Couriers - TNT and Gnewt Cargo will both trial the collaborative schedule optimiser being developed across their collective customer base which includes DX and Hermes. Key economic benefits are anticipated to arise from i) the ability to better apportion work to vehicles working in specific condensed zones (potentially only covering a few streets) to reduce drive and parking bay search times ii) the improved fill rate of vehicles associated with allocating work to zones iii) identifying and consolidating clients who have the ability to receive items out-of-hours to take advantage of less congested periods. Based on previous work optimising van servicing rounds for a major UK charity, the investigators estimate that the transport savings achievable from collaborative scheduling could range between 5 and 20%.

Local Authorities - will benefit from the first 'Freight Traffic Control' (FTC) demonstrator which will enable them to evaluate the benefits of adopting a 3rd party managed freight scheduling service for their urban centres. Cities (specifically London), will benefit from any consequent reductions in congestion which was estimated to cost the capital approximately £5.4bn in 2013 with a 10% reduction likely to be worth £500m to the economy.
System designers and software developers - looking to commercially develop the FTC concept and collaborative schedule optimiser will benefit from our approaches for integrating, modelling and visualising vast data sets for collaborative decision support, and how to navigate the commercial and privacy issues associated with handling multi-client data.

Academics - Will be able to gain from the advance knowledge of how to develop and use powerful metaheuristic algorithms to solve the routing and scheduling problem on a mega scale, involving significant and complex datasets from multiple clients. They will also gain insight into what gaming strategies and trust models are most appropriate to realise collaborative business operations between competing companies and an appreciation of the key legal and privacy issues associated with the receipt, processing and visualisation of such information.

The general public - will also benefit from the project through the reduction in road freight activity that collaborative scheduling will realise in urban areas (reducing overall traffic levels, fossil-fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, visual intrusion whilst improving local air quality and road safety). The novel visualisations created will also aid their understanding on how their purchasing behaviours lead to unsustainable delivery activity.
 
Title Co-designing digital services for collaborative and sustainable logistics 
Description A poster showing how big data from logistics companies can be blended and interpreted to better understand the collective impacts of last-mile delivery 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used at various events, at symposia and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/events/final/Oliver.pdf
 
Title Collaborative working and game theory applications 
Description A poster describing how game theory can be applied to assist logistics providers share the costs and benefits equitably when working in collaborative partnerships 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The poster has been used at various events, symposia and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/events/final/Tolga.pdf
 
Title Developing a dashboard for last-mile freight traffic 
Description A poster describing how GPX datasets from logistics providers' vehicles can be used through a data visualisation dashboard to understand the collective impacts of freight vehicle movements on the road network 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used at various events, symposia and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/events/final/Kostas.pdf
 
Title FTC2050 project animation 
Description This is an animation created with Morph which outlines the FTC2050 project and its key findings 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The animation is being displayed on the digital media walls around Southampton University 
URL https://player.vimeo.com/video/371595379?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0
 
Title Last-mile parcel delivery - characteristics and trends 
Description A poster used to describe the characteristics and trends associated with last-mile delivery 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used in various events, symposium and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster4(trends).pdf
 
Title Parcel carrier collaboration - the carrier's carrier model 
Description A poster explaining the 'carrier's carrier' distribution model practiced by Menzies in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland where rival parcel carriers agree to combine their loads through a 3rd party neutral carrier. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used at various events, symposia and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster2(Menzies).pdf
 
Title Portering parcels to reduce reliance on vans 
Description Poster designed to introduce the concept of human 'portering' as a method of delivering small-item freight over the last-mile. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used in various events, symposium and a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster1(portering).pdf
 
Title Same-day delivery market and operations 
Description A poster describing the same-day delivery market and how it operates 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used in various events, symposium and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster5(same_day).pdf
 
Title Solutions for more efficient and environmentally-friendly last-mile delivery 
Description A poster describing and illustrating environmentally friendly solutions to address the last-mile delivery problem 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster user at various events, symposium and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster6(solutions).pdf
 
Title Surveys of next-day last-mile parcel operations in central London 
Description A poster highlighting the transport impacts of next-day last-mile parcel delivery operations in London. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Poster used at various events, symposium and as a teaching aid 
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/posters/poster8(surveys).pdf
 
Title Using an agent-based model to demonstrate the impacts of last-mile delivery in London 
Description The animation was designed and developed with Morph and shows the way agent-based models can be used to visualise and better understand the impacts of last-mile delivery over areas of London. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact Used by the project partners to assist in presentations and teaching 
URL https://vimeo.com/374144594
 
Description Our work has provided insight into both next-day and same-day parcel delivery operations in urban areas, the market for both of these services, and the traffic and environmental impacts associated with them. The research has involved detailed studies of next-day parcel courier drivers operating in central London and has shown that they typically spend an average of 4.6 hours per day sorting, unloading and delivering parcels on foot, walking, on average, 7.9 km (4.9 miles). This means that their vehicles can be parked at the kerbside for 70% of the round, adding to congestion and reducing parking space for other vehicles. It has also shown the extremely low vehicle speeds in busy, urban areas where 20-25% of delivery addresses can involve the driver ascending inside the building by stairs or lift.

This led to our concept of introducing portering, where the driving and walking functions are separated in order to reduce vehicle kerbside dwell time and ultimately, the numbers of vehicles needed. Through an initial portering trial with Gnewt Cargo, it was possible to identify and overcome the operational challenges, as well as quantify the wider traffic, environmental, and operating costs associated with implementing such a delivery system. This work has provided the guidance and template for the parcel carrier partners in the project to continue with portering trials with a view to implementing the concept in their business-as-usual operations. Ford subsequently worked with Gnewt cargo to develop and roll out a commercial portering trial across the EC3 area of London, building on the learnings from our initial work. Over a 38 day period, 90% of the consignees loads were portered with one vehicle undertaking the work of 4 using a team of between 4 and 6 porters. FedEx are now developing their own trial on similar lines.

It has also provided policy makers with the necessary evidence base to encourage portering as a credible approach to realise more sustainable, next-day urban parcel delivery, evidenced by citations of our work in policy documents.

To help understand the potential benefits of separating out the driving from walking elements of delivery in portering, we have developed new joint driving-and-walking optimisation algorithms which look to minimise the driving distance and number of porters required on each round, given the delivery requirements stipulated by the consignees. This work is the subject of several journal papers, published and currently in development.

The research has also investigated the difference in operating performance between experienced and novice delivery drivers in activities including vehicle loading, routeing, delivery scheduling, and decisions about where to park the vehicle. We have also looked at the ways in which route optimisation tools coupled to wayfinding systems might assist novice drivers in familiarising themselves with the delivery area and improve their performance.

The research has identified the potential benefits of collaboration between parcel carriers through the introduction of a third-party urban 'carriers' carrier' which can carry out last-mile deliveries on their behalf, thereby reducing total vehicle activity and parking demand. A case study of this approach currently being used in a rural community has assisted in developing understanding of how it might be applied in an urban setting along with the data privacy and security challenges that would exist.
Exploitation Route Our main industrial partner, Gnewt Cargo have trialled the portering concept in central London in a partnership with Ford (see https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/02/18/ford-launches-on-demand-parcel-delivery-service-london/). FedEx are currently building on our research to develop a portering trial of their own during 2020.
Sectors Education,Energy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.ftc2050.com/
 
Description Working with major parcel carriers in London, our research has provided a fundamental new understanding into the collective impacts of parcel delivery operations in dense urban areas. Our initial fieldwork with the carriers produced four review reports (available at www.ftc2050.com) which have been heavily cited and used in ten evidence submissions to public consultation exercises for amongst others, the National Infrastructure Commission, the UK Department for Transport, the UK Parliament Transport Select Committee, The Mayor of London, the London Assembly, the City of London Corporation, and the Commission on Travel Demand. Many of the organisations to which evidence has been provided have cited this in their resulting strategy and policy documents with the Government Office for Science commissioning an evidence review of last-mile logistics based on findings from the project, which has been published and cited in its own Future of Mobility report. From our detailed analysis of parcel carrier operations, we developed the concept of decoupling the driving element of parcel delivery rounds from the delivery using new driving-and-walking optimisation approaches. Our simulations based on real-world data from the carriers suggested that porters taking 90% of deliveries from the driver could reduce vehicle parking time at the curbside by 86%, and total vehicle /driver deployment time by up to 71%. This work led to Transport for London awarding funding (£50k) to one of our industrial partners, Gnewt Cargo, to trial portering as one of their ten sustainable logistics demonstrator projects. Trials in January 2018 proved positive, suggesting that the numbers of delivery vehicles and their associated kerbside dwell times could be significantly reduced in areas where porters are used to deliver bags of pre-packed parcels on-foot. The experience subsequently led to Gnewt conducting a commercial trial in association with Ford who were developing a routing and scheduling optimisation tool to assist multi-modal last-mile delivery. This took place in central London during February-March 2019 (disseminated in the national press e.g. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/02/18/ford-launches-on-demand-parcel-delivery-service-london/) and initial results confirmed our original simulations in that the numbers of parcel delivery vehicles needed can be significantly reduced. Over a 38 day period, 90% of the consignees loads over the EC3 area were portered with one vehicle undertaking the work of 4 using a team of between 4 and 6 porters. FedEx are now developing their own trial on similar lines. As part of the FTC2050, a 4th year MEng student Group Design Project was undertaken in 2018 with the national same-day parcel carrier, CitySprint designing new 'green delivery' scenarios for their operations in London. On the back of this successful project, which developed a courier placement and deployment strategy, a unique hackathon event, 'ParcelHack19' (https://go.citysprint.co.uk/parcelhack-2019) was run in conjunction with CitySprint, using anonymised courier round data to provide new insights into sustainable delivery and the use of local authority assets to aid logistics operations in urban areas. CitySprint are looking at how some of the concepts could be commercialised. The FTC2050 team is also providing results from the project to a city authority to assist them in their development of policy initiatives to influence consumer behaviour in relation to their last-mile delivery choices. The FTC2050 work is being used by Transport for London and the City of London Corporation to help them better understand the potential benefits and challenges of traffic data from proprietary sources to gain insight into road traffic performance analysis and management.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Education,Retail,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description A time of unprecedented change in the transport system, Foresight Future of Mobility project
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in systematic reviews
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/future-of-mobility
 
Description Citation in Ford press release
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Ford has partnered with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution (Gnewt) to trial new digital parcel courier service designed to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries in London Ford's new cloud-based software identifies optimum places for van drivers to pull over near multiple drop-off points; pedestrian and cycle couriers perform the last leg of delivery The work undertaken as part of the FTC2050 project first trialled the portering concept with Gnewt which they have gone onto develop commercially with Ford. The key benefits are that the number of delivery vehicles needed can be significantly reduced (one van can do the work of three), so reducing kerbside dwell time and pollution. FTC2050 is cited in the press release.
URL https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/feu/en/news/2019/02/18/ford_s-new-take-on-getting-parcels-t...
 
Description Citation in Independent Transport Commission report: How can we improve urban freight distribution in the UK - Challenge and solutions
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://www.theitc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ITC-Urban-Distribution-report-May-2017.pdf
 
Description Citation: London Assembly Transport Committee - Call for evidence: Future Transport Consultation
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/future_transport_report_-_final.pdf
 
Description DfT: Last-mile call for evidence - July 2018
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-last-mile-a-call-for-evidence
 
Description Evidence to Transport Select Committee 30/1/17
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/news-...
 
Description FTC2050 contribution to the Mayor of London's - 'London Plan consultation submission' made by the Industry and Logistics Sounding Board. January 2019.
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/m63_london_ilsb_2839.pdf
 
Description FTC2050 project response to the City of London Corporation's 'City Plan 2036: Shaping the Future City - City of London Local Plan' draft consultation. ((Consultation launched November 2018; FTC2050 submission made February 2019).)
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/environment-and-planning/planning/planning-policy/Pages/Loc...
 
Description FTC2050 submission made to the Mayor of London's 'London Plan' in response to the draft consultation launched December 2017 (FTC2050 submission made, July 2018).
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/University%20of%20Westminster%20%282792%29.pdf
 
Description Further FTC2050 written evidence submitted to the Mayor of London's 'London Plan Examination in Public', submitted January 2019.
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/m63_ftc_2050_2792.pdf
 
Description Oral evidence to be given by FTC 2050 as part of 'Freight, Deliveries and Servicing' session (M62) on 19 March 2019) to the Mayor of London - London Plan Examination in Public. Together with Amazon UK Services Limited (DWD LLP), British Retail Consortium, DB Cargo UK Ltd (Arup), Federation of Small Business, Freight Transport Association, GLA Industrial BIDs group / London Industry and Logistic Sounding Board, John Lewis Partnership, Just Space, Four London Boroughs (inner and outer), London Councils, London Sustainability Exchange, Road Haulage Association Ltd, SEGRO, Sustrans, UKWA, and UPS.
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/examination-public-draft-n...
 
Description Submission to Mayor of London - London Plan Consultation
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/london-plan/new-london-plan/draft-new-london-plan/
 
Description Submission to National Infrastructure Commission - Freight Study Call for Evidence. The NIC Future of Freight Interim Report published in December 2018 includes a reference to the FTC 2050 evidence submitted - see reference 55 on page 23)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.nic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Future-of-Freight-Interim-Report-2.pdf
 
Description Submission to consultation on Mayor of London's Draft Transport Strategy
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/how-we-work/planning-for-the-future/the-mayors-transport-stra...
 
Description Submission to the Draft City of London Freight and Servicing Supplementary Planning Consultation
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/environment-and-planning/planning/planning-policy/local-pla...
 
Description Written evidence given to the City of London Corporation's, 'City Streets: Transport for a changing Square Mile' - draft Transport Strategy consultation (Consultation launched November 2018; FTC2050 submission made January 2019).
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/transport-and-streets/Pages/transport-strategy.aspx
 
Description 'I want it, and I want it now' - demonstrating the transport and environmental impacts of last-mile parcel delivery.
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 09/2020
 
Description Co-creating digital tools for gig-economy logistics workforces
Amount £2,500 (GBP)
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 09/2019
 
Description Section 159 Financial Assistance Funding
Amount £25,654 (GBP)
Funding ID FAN/391/16 
Organisation Transport for London 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 03/2019
 
Title Agent-based framework of parcel delivery sector 
Description The framework is a piece of software developed in the Java programming language, making use of the MASON agent-based modelling simulation toolkit. It allows the user to generate synthetic environments from data including transportation networks, parcel demand location, and depot information; to populate these environments with individual, independent delivery personnel; and to explore how changes or modifications to the environment or personnel translate into different patterns of delivery. Thus, by changing the demand for parcels or the availability of parking, the user can explore how current practices would translate into outcomes. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The tool has been very useful internally in terms of describing and exploring different scenarios for parcel delivery. We have presented it at a number of conferences - to the interest of both current and potential industrial partners - and intend to continue developing it. 
URL https://github.com/swise5/SimpleDriverDemo
 
Title Dashboard for delivery data information 
Description The dashboard presents delivery data in a map, allowing the user to filter the data by area, journey start or end time, journey length, and origin/destination information. The deployment of the dashboard is done in two parts: The backend (server-side) containing the database and a server for handling requests and data queries, and the frontend (client-side) which contains the visualisation and interaction elements. The dashboard is accessed through any modern web-browser, by pointing to the relevant URL. The database used by the dashboard is a MongoDB instance, Request handling and queries to the database are done through a server application written in JavaScript using the node.js environment. The dashboard backend (server and database) is stored locally at the current stage, however the technologies used for each of the components (node.js and MongoDb) are designed primarily for web applications and therefore the dashboard can be easily deployed online. The frontend part of the dashboard (the user interface) is written in HTML and JavaScript, combining multiple visualisation, charting, and mapping libraries. The layout and overall User Interface uses an HTML dashboard template published by Keen, modified to accommodate the required elements. The visualisation and filtering functionality is implemented in JavaScript. Specifically, overall data manipulation is handled using the dc.js library, which in itself combines more fundamental libraries: d3.js is used for data visualisation in the form of charts, and Crossfilter for filtering the data over multiple attributes. Finally, mapping and spatial filtering is implemented through the use of the Leaflet library. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2019 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The dashboard has been used internally to the project, and has also been demonstrated to our industry partners. They have provisionally reported that their view and understanding of their own data has been changed by the ability to interact with it in this fashion. We hope to deploy it further and make it more widely available. 
 
Description 'I want it, and I want it now' - what are the transport impacts of your on-line shopping habits? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Human Worlds Festival is the University of Southampton's annual celebration of Humanities.
It is a free series of events for members of the public, including families, to explore the humanities and beyond. In the past years, most of the events took place at the University's Avenue Campus, which is the home of the Faculty of Humanities, including disciplines such as Archaeology, English, Film, History, Modern Languages, Music and Philosophy.
For the first time, this year's festival took place at the Southampton Cultural Quarter and was organised by the University of Southampton Public Engagement with Research Unit in partnership with John Hansard Gallery and City Eye.
What is our exhibit?
'I want it, and I want it now' - what are the transport impacts of your on-line shopping habits?
This interactive exhibit uses an agent-based model to replicate the on-street activity of parcel delivery couriers operating across the EC3 postcode area of London.
Players are asked to state i) how many parcel delivery vans they think visit their house, ii) the number of parcels they might expect to receive and, iii) how many deliveries are made by people on foot in a typical week. This is done via a linked tablet.
This information is then used to run the model which uses a historical data set of carrier parcel delivery data as a base to replicate and project the delivery characteristics chosen across the EC3 area of London over a single day, if all consignees on the rounds exhibited the same behaviour.
The model shows a visualisation of the vans moving around the network with deliveries being made by drivers and foot porters. Locations receiving deliveries have parcels appear at those points with delivery vehicles and porters moving around between them.
At the end of the simulation, the model shows the collective impacts of the days delivery activity in terms of the numbers of van-kilometres driven, porter kilometres walked and the CO2 produced by the delivery activity in terms of the numbers of trees that would have to be planted to offset the impact. To aid discussion with players, two pull-up banners were created to accompany the simulation. One frames the current problems with home delivery in the form of a cartoon, particularly the increasing growth of 'same-day' delivery where a consignee can receive a package within a few hours of ordering and the negative transport impacts of such activity. The other shows the ways in which delivery companies are adapting their operations to better manage parcel deliveries using things like foot and cycle couriers, micro-consolidation points and in some cases, drones.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.humanworldsfestival.com/hands-on_humanities_day/
 
Description 'Visualising Data Paths of London Freight Drivers'. Transport at Night Seminar, October 17, 2017, University College London, London, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An open seminar at UCL which increased interest in the area of visualisation techniques for understanding freight activity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description A keynote presentation gibem by Sarah Wise, 'Geospatial Simulation, Three Ways.' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wise, S. (2019) Geospatial Simulation, Three Ways. A keynote presentation given at the International Workshop on Geospatial Simulation, 27th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic lnformation Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019), held in Chicago, lL, USA, November 5 - November 8, 2079.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3383653.3383661
 
Description A talk by Sarah Wise on 'Modelling the Last Mile: An Agent-based Approach to Understanding Freight and Delivery' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Wise, S. (16 July, 2019) Modelling the Last Mile: An Agent-based Approach to Understanding Freight and Delivery. A talk given to the Centre for Urban Science and Progress Seminar Series, King's College University, London, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Challenges and opportunities in London's last-mile deliveries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Julian Allen made a presentation on Challenges and opportunities in London's last-mile deliveries, at the JLL London and South East Industrial Seminar, on 16 October 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Freight in the city expo - Sam Clarke 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Sam Clarke (Gnewt Cargo) - project industrial partner, to delegates at the Freight in the City Expo on the low emission freight trial
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://expo.freightinthecity.com/freightinthecityexpo2017/en/page/presentations
 
Description How can online shopping and home delivery be less harmful to the environment?, 13 September 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Wise interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 'you and yours' programme about how online shopping and home delivery be made less harmful to the environment
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07n8jxp
 
Description ITSUK Freight Interest Group meeting 2/2/17 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 'Preventing an Urban Delivery Crisis - jointly meeting business and customer needs and Social and Environmental Challenges' involved a panel of 8 speakers discussing how current and future demand for the delivery of goods in urban areas has the potential to lead to major business and sustainability problems and what methods might mitigated them. Over 90 delegates registered from industry and local authorities and joined in a lively debate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ftc2050.com/events/020217_FIG_Final_Timed_Agenda.pdf
 
Description International project symposium - 'Fast, Green & Free Deliveries: Overcoming the Last- Mile Challenge in Urban Transport' orgnanised by the FTC 2050 Project Symposium, 25 June 2019, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The intention of this symposium was to bring together a large audience of the various parties involved in last-mile urban deliveries including: freight transport operators, policy makers, vehicle manufacturers, IT and telematics providers, consultants and academic researchers. During the course of the day the audience was presented with the results from the EPSRC-funded Freight Traffic Control 2050 project. The event also provided insight into last-mile delivery technologies being developed by companies and findings from other relevant projects, as well as the thinking and insights of policy makers and freight transport operators working in the parcel delivery sector. It consisted of presentations, panel and poster discussions, and question and answer sessions about operational, land-use, technological and policy implications of urban last-mile deliveries. Exhibitors at the conference included: Transport for London, the Freight Transport Association, the Institute of Couriers, ITS UK.

The Institute of Couriers wrote a summary of the FTC 2050 Symposium for their members: Institute of Couriers (2019) Summary of Freight Traffic Control 2050 final conference in the City of London, Institute of Couriers.
https://instituteofcouriers.com/news/general-news/item/1413-ftc-2050-freight-traffic-control-3-years-in-the-making
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://scc-ftc2050-web.lancs.ac.uk/ftc2050-symposium/
 
Description Interview for Forbes magazine - 'Study Finds Cargobikes Beat Vans In Cities So U.K. Government Backs Flying Urban Taxis' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The FTC 2050 project by University of Southampton students was referred to in an article about cargobikes:
Carlton Reid (2019) Study Finds Cargobikes Beat Vans In Cities So U.K. Government Backs Flying Urban Taxis, Forbes, 30 August.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2019/08/30/study-finds-cargobikes-beat-vans-in-cities-so-u-...
 
Description Interview for article for the New Scientist: Guilt-free online shopping is possible if we reinvent home delivery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Wise and Julian Allen were interviewed by a science journalist for an article he wrote for New Scientist in which he referred to the FTC 2050 project:
Chris Stokel-Walker (2019) Guilt-free online shopping is possible if we reinvent home delivery, New Scientist, 4 September 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24332460-800-guilt-free-online-shopping-is-possible-if-we-rei...
 
Description Invited talk at Smart Cities Conference, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dr Sarah Wise gave an invited talk entitled Smarter Carrier Journeys - Understanding the Impacts of Last-Mile Logistics Operations on the Urban Streetscape. This was included in the
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/casa/news/2017/sep/conference-smart-cities-and-planning-new-urban-age...
 
Description Invited talk on Last-mile delivery in the U.K. at the Antai College of Management and Economics at Shanghai Jiaotong University (Shanghai, China) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited research seminar with discussion afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk on Last-mile delivery in the U.K. at the Department of Economics and Business at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact To give a research seminar describing the results from the FTC2050 project. It has resulted in staff exchange with one member of staff and one postgraduate student from UPF planning to visit the University of Liverpool for a research stay.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Julian Allen represented FTC2050 at the National Infrastructure Commission 'value of freight' workshop 10/9/18 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Julian Allen participated in workshop about the Value of Freight run by the National Infrastructure Commission. This led to results from the FTC2050 project being cited in the NIC Future of Freight Interim Report published in December 2018 (see reference 55 on page 23). https://www.nic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Future-of-Freight-Interim-Report-2.pdf
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.nic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Future-of-Freight-Interim-Report-2.pdf
 
Description Julian Allen represented FTC2050 in a roundtable discussion on emerging mobility technologies facilitated by the Government Office for Science, 18 October, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Julian Allen represented FTC2050 in a roundtable discussion on emerging mobility technologies facilitated by the Government Office for Science, 18 October, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Logistics initiatives to improve efficiency and sustainability of last-mile parcel delivery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Allen, J. (2019) Logistics initiatives to improve efficiency and sustainability of last-mile parcel delivery, presented at 'Vans and urban freight: Drivers of demand, impacts and future innovations in last mile delivery' TSUG seminar, 16 January, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Logistics initiatives to improve efficiency and sustainability of last-mile parcel delivery - A presentation given by Julian Allen at the LoCity Vans Working Group, 23 October, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A presentation given by Julian Allen at the LoCity Vans Working Group, 23 October, London looking into the various innovative initiatives being used by logistics providers to tackle the last-mile delivery problem in urban areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Parcelhack 2019 - 'Hacking the last-mile' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Parcelhack 2019 - 'Hacking the last-mile' set out to develop new ways of interpreting the impacts of last-mile 'business-to-business' and 'business-to-consumer' parcel deliveries in London and determine ways in which the negative externalities caused could be mitigated. This event was co-hosted by CitySprint, the EPSRC funded FTC2050 project, Transport for London (TfL) and Geovation. The hackathon was conceived through the work of the FTC2050 project (www.ftc2050.com) and its research with CitySprint looking into how last-mile parcel delivery can be made more sustainable. The event took place over the 1st and 2nd March 2019 at Geovation in central London and two teams prevailed from 48 initial registrants producing new concepts for managing the last-mile using consolidation points around tube stations along with crowd sourced couriers and new scheduling techniques for allocating work to couriers using new green delivery windows.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://go.citysprint.co.uk/parcelhack-2019-0?hsCta
 
Description Participation in Industrial Logistics Sounding Board meeting for the Greater London Authority 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Julian Allen participated in an Industrial Logistics Sounding Board meeting on 12 November 2019 in London between the Greater London Authority, London boroughs, and industrial members to discuss logistics land in London, as an input to the Mayor of London's ongoing work on the London Plan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Participation in a meeting between JLL and the Greater London Authority to discuss logistics land in London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Julian Allen took part in a meeting between JLL and the Greater London Authority to discuss logistics land in London, on 25 November 2019 as an input to the Mayor of London's ongoing work on the London Plan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation by Julian Allen - 'Logistics initiatives to improve efficiency and sustainability of last-mile parcel delivery', presented at 'Vans and urban freight: Drivers of demand, impacts and future innovations in last mile delivery' TSUG seminar, 16 January, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation by Julian Allen on 'Logistics initiatives to improve efficiency and sustainability of last-mile parcel delivery', presented at 'Vans and urban freight: Drivers of demand, impacts and future innovations in last mile delivery' TSUG seminar, 16 January, London.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presentation on 'Inner City Challenges and urban Innovation' at the Post & Parcel Live seminar, 3rd July 2018, London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sam Clarke (Gnewt Cargo) and Tom Cherrett (FTC2050) gave a joint presentation using their research on portering from the FTC2050 project on the problems with delivering parcels in dense urban areas and some of the new solutions that could make the operation more sustainable. There was an audience of around 30 mainly local government and industry practitioners. The talk led to many new industry contacts which have subsequently been engaged in FTC2050 research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.postandparcel.live/
 
Description Sarah Wise gave a talk on 'Agent-Based Models for Exploring Public Policy Planning' . 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wise, S. (18 July, 2019) Agent-Based Models for Exploring Public Policy Planning. A talk given at the Agent-Based Models for Exploring Public Policy Planning Symposium, Lorentz Centre, Amsterdam
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Sarah Wise gave a talk on 'Agent-based Modelling for Last Mile Delivery - Toward a sustainable system' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wise, S. (26 February, 2020) Agent-based Modelling for Last Mile Delivery - Toward a sustainable system. A talk given at the Smart Mobility Symposium, Bielefeld, Germany
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Sarah Wise gave a talk on 'An Agent-based Approach to Last Mile Delivery' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Wise, S. (5 February, 2020) An Agent-based Approach to Last Mile Delivery. A talk given as part of the 'Collective Dynamics Seminar Series', University of Bristol, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Sarah Wise gave a talk on 'Freight Traffic Control and Data: Exploring the Challenge of the Last Mile' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wise, S. (31 October, 2019) Freight Traffic Control and Data: Exploring the Challenge of the Last Mile. A talk given at the Royal Automobile Club Foundation event "Data, Driven", London, UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Tackling the 'last-mile' using human porters as a valid mode of freight transport in London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk given to the University of Cardiff Business School research staff and students on 14th June 2018 designed to further engage participants in last-mile logistics research. Over 25 people attended and discussion was had on future research collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Tackling the 'last-mile' using human porters as a valid mode of freight transport in London. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited presentation to the Engineering Systems and Design Department at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) 11th April. Audience of around 40 academics and PGT, PGR students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Transforming the energy demands of last-mile urban freight through collaborative logistics: Challenges in developing a Freight Traffic Controller. 06/06/2017, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An open seminar at Lancaster University with the CENTRAL research group targeting leading researchers in transport and OR.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Urban freight performance in the UK: Using fleet manifest & management data to understand and mitigate the impacts of last-mile parcel deliveries. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented by invitation to the Transportation Research Board 'Freight Fluidity Workshop', September 4-6, 2018, at the Keck Centre, 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001, in Washington, D.C. Approximately 60 practitioners engaged in the workshop.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/Conferences/2018/Freight/Program.pdf
 
Description Using fleet manifest & management data to understand the impacts of last-mile parcel deliveries. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation given as part of a joint Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and European Commission's (EC) Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport's webinar entitled, 'Gaining Insights from freight data'. March 27th 2018. Around 150 individuals registered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cilt.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/webinar-fhwa-hop-march-2018.pdf
 
Description Visualising Last-Mile Freight Delivery (for Fun and Profit), Seminar for Centre for Transport Studies, Imperial College London, London, UK. (10 May, 2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Approximately 20 individuals associated with Imperial College London attended a seminar on our results, presented as a part of the Centre for Transport Studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description You and Yours - Eye surgery, Small cars, Wine from Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sarah Wise was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 'You and Yours' programme about the FTC 2050 project and particularly issues associated with the transport impacts of home delivery
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0008hk2