Cities are growing, and urban populations are rising. With approximately 2.5 billion additional people expected to move to urban areas by 2050, what does this mean for the future of our cities? And how can we better facilitate the movement of people and goods in and around these cities, without increasing congestion, road accidents, air pollution, noise and climate change?
Smart mobility and implications for logistics in cities
Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, by 2050 this could increase to 68%, while the global population is forecast to rise to 9.7 billion. At the same time, eCommerce is driving growth in domestic and international markets. In the UK, online shopping and eCommerce accounted for 18.2 per cent of all retail spending in July 2018, up considerably over past years. Consumers are spending more and want customised goods delivered preferably within the same day to suit their flexible lifestyles. According to McKinsey, the cost of global parcel delivery, excluding pickup, line-haul, and sorting, amounts to around EUR 70 billion, with China, Germany, and the United States accounting for more than 40 per cent of the market.
This has implications for the logistics required to fulfil consumer needs. New technological possibilities – particularly in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicles space – coupled with the digitalizing of the retail market has led to the emergence of new delivery methods, including ground last mile bots and drones. By 2030, the global market for delivery bots is expected to reach the 17 billion mark with food, groceries, and eCommerce firms largely expected to benefit from such solutions.
However, the speed of logistics has not yet caught up with decreased lead time, leaving consumers often frustrated and businesses busy with solving the corresponding challenges. With the additional negative impact from increased congestion on air quality and quality of life in cities, this will force logistic carriers to do their part by finding more sustainable, less intrusive ways to make urban deliveries work for the cities they operate in.
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