Freight advice for businesses during the Olympic Games

Posted on 20th January 2012 By Charlotte Haye

The UK’s economy relies on the efficient, safe movement of freight. If you carry out or receive deliveries, collections or servicing activity, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games could present both opportunities and challenges for your business. Here are tips on how your origination can start planning now in order to keep running smoothly throughout next summer.

Receiving deliveries

• Re-time non-urgent deliveries – retime non-urgent deliveries to happen before or after the Games, when the transport network will be less congested.

• Reduce deliveries where possible –work with your suppliers to ensure that deliveries are consolidated into the minimum number of deliveries possible, to reduce the overall number of journeys.

• Talk to other businesses – start speaking to other businesses in your building, street or Business Improvement District to see if you can work together during the Games. For example, if you use the same supplier can you coordinate deliveries and get essentials delivered on the same day? Do you have a space (e.g. in the basement parking area) which you can all use as a shared storeroom to stock up on essential items, such as paper or toner?

• Stock up in advance – non-perishable goods, such as stationery, can be delivered and stored in advance of the Games.

• Keep a record of your 2011 deliveries and collections – keep a diary of deliveries and collections you make. This will give you a better idea of your requirements and how to plan for next year. These can include couriers, stationery orders, tea and coffee supplies for the office, etc.

• Create and test an action plan – start preparing now by creating an action plan and testing it ahead of the Games to ensure it is effective.

• Out-of-hours deliveries – many businesses may want to carry out deliveries, collections and servicing activity outside normal working hours. Check with your suppliers and local authority to see if you can receive deliveries out of hours when the roads are less busy.

Making deliveries and collections

• Change delivery times – push delivery times forward or back to avoid peak spectator times or try to re-time deliveries to less busy days altogether. For example, in the Wimbledon area, the Olympic Route Network will only be in place during competition days. Try to re-time deliveries to avoid those days.

• Communicate effectively with customers, suppliers and employees – a number of industry sectors, including catering and retail, are anticipating large increases in demand during the Games period. Work with your customers and suppliers to ensure they are aware of how the Games will impact their deliveries and how you plan to operate during the Games. Drivers in particular will need to be aware of the temporary changes to the road network in place during the Games.

• Explore different delivery options – seek out other options for getting goods to customers, such as using secure drop boxes for smaller deliveries, if appropriate, or walking and cycling part or all of the journey.

• Plan your routes – review postcode data to check whether individual postcodes in London will be affected by the Games. The data highlights what areas will be affected by the Olympic Route Network (ORN), Paralympic Route Network (PRN), Central London Zone (CLZ) or road events. This will allow you to produce a list of both clients and locations that will be impacted, acting as a timesaving tool when planning deliveries.

• Help your customers work together – if you have customers in the same area or building, encourage them to work together by sharing delivery time windows or consolidating supplies.

• Carry out maintenance now – if you work in the servicing sector, recommend your customers schedule preventative maintenance for their equipment before the Games.

• Freight forum events – attend one of the upcoming freight workshops where you will receive advice and speak to other companies about how they are approaching the task.

• Walk or cycle where possible – look into walking or using bikes for small, local deliveries. For example, if your usual loading/unloading location is not available, consider whether the driver can park nearby and deliver on foot.

• Re-route delivery vehicles to specific areas – if you have multiple depots, you might be able to avoid congestion by re-routing vehicles from different depots to complete particular journeys, avoiding temporary road restrictions.

• Use driver’s mates to reduce delivery times – employ a driver’s mate on restricted routes. The mate could be dropped off with the delivery and collected afterwards, to negate the need to stop for longer than necessary in restricted areas.

• Manage customer expectations – make customers aware that deliveries are likely to take longer and factor these extended times into your estimates for deliveries

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