The city of Stockholm has designed a strategy for freight which fits in the overall sustainable urban mobility planning strategy of the Swedish capital. The good integration of urban freight in the transport strategy made Stockholm qualify as one of the three finalists for the 5th EU SUMP Award on the topic of urban freight.
To complement the Urban Mobility Strategy (UMS) which has been adopted in 2012, the capital city of Sweden has adopted a series of six thematic plans that form together Stockholm Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.
Among the six thematic plans is the Stockholm Freight Plan (FP) which has been published in 2014 and sets the priorities for urban freight over the period 2014-2017. The main objectives are:
- to enable more reliable delivery times
- to facilitate a more effective use of commercial freight vehicles
- to promote the use of clean vehicles
- to advance the freight delivery partnership between the city and other stakeholders
To achieve the objectives of both the UMS and the FP, Stockholm relies on a series of measures, projects and studies which include the establishment and use of an Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC) in the city centre to allow consolidation of freight activities by operators, estate property owners and carriers. Another measure integrated in the Freight Plan is the conduction of an off-peak delivery project to increase the transport efficiency and time reliability without compromising the quality of life of residents.
A further measure focuses on the increase in the number of (un)loading zones for heavy vehicles. Stockholm also tested loading zone sensors to allow the better use of these (un)loading zones and thus of to enable more reliable delivery times. Additionally, aware of the importance of a supporting network of private and public stakeholders, the local authority cooperates with local businesses, the academic sector, agencies and the public sector and organise collaborative meetings with them.
In addition to the measures taken by the city, Stockholm also included in its FP a series of studies and reviews in order to collect the needs and issues related to urban freight and also to evaluate the results of measures. By way of examples, Stockholm included in its FP a study on the possibility for freight operators to use public transport lanes or an evaluation of the existing regulations for commercial freight traffic.
Furthermore, other plans, parallel to the FP, also help improving urban freight in Stockholm. For instance, the strategy for low emission vehicles and alternative fuels also apply to freight vehicles and contribute to 'clean' the local freight vehicle fleets.
Several measures of the FP have produced results. Consolidation is for instance developing in Stockholm, with the construction and the use of both a UCC and a Construction Consolidation Centre (CCC) in the area of the Royal Seaport which is under reconstruction.
The UCC is expected to be particularly successful as it will be economically viable, without public subsidies, and it also combines retail and waste through an original reverse logistics scheme. The business model includes concepts for property owners, retailers, offices, carriers and shippers.
The use of clean vehicles is also progressing, especially thanks to the use of clean vehicles only for pilot activites and the modal shift from road traffic to waterways. As Stockholm is built on islands, the city encourages to transport construction materials, fuels, construction masses and waste on waterways.
The selection of Stockholm as one of the three finalists for the 5th SUMP Award on the theme of urban freight demonstrates the good integration of the freight strategy in the overall sustainable urban mobility planning approach. The jury of the award highlighted in particular the fact that the city of Stockholm has clearly identified freight as a priority and has well integrated it within the people mobility planning.
The promotion of consolidated logistics schemes and the continuous involvement of stakeholders are two other major strengths of the Stockholm Freight Plan. Indeed, the jury acknowledged Stockholm’s use of the 'triple helix approach' – making the research and industry sectors collaborating with the local authority - and the balance this has led to in the Stockholm FP: The plan responds both to the need to foster local economic activity, but also to limit the adverse impacts of urban freight.