Improving freight efficiency within the ‘last mile’: A Case study of Wellington’s Central Business District
Freight movement within the Central Business District has generally been overlooked in both academic planning literature and urban plans. There is little understanding of the nature of urban freight activity despite the significant impacts it can have on the natural, social and economic environment. This is an increasing concern because the frequency and volume of freight needed within the Central Business District is growing. In addition to this, increasing urbanisation and traffic volumes are predicted to intensify problems that are already occurring. The aim of this study is to investigate how urban freight activity within Central Business Districts in major urban centres can be made more efficient and reliable. Urban freight efficiency is complex; it is affected by a wide range of actors and activities. Because little is known about the last mile this study looks to explore freight from the perspectives of the key actors involved. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted with professionals from local planning organisations and freight and retail businesses. A literature review and field observation have also been used to investigate the main drivers of urban freight activity, the constraints and barriers to efficiency and potential solutions to the problem. This research used the Wellington CBD as a case study. Overall this study found that planning for efficient freight movement requires a combination of solutions which incorporate a supply chain perspective. The key findings show that consumer demand was the main driver of urban freight activity. Therefore there is a need to incorporate representatives from local businesses and freight companies, who are providing services to meet this demand into the planning process. Currently there is little co-operation between the freight, retail and planning sectors, this needs to be improved in order to achieve efficiency.
Advisor: Stephenson, Wayne
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Freight; Sustainability; Planning; Central Business District
Research Type: Thesis