Ekologis is a awareness-raising campaign and a logistics project of Urban Consolidation Centre focused on small and medium sized operators in Prague downtown.
Prague has a long-term issue with high concentrations of airborne pollutants. A significant proportion of city centre traffic comes from the vehicle fleets of logistics companies. The long-term goal of the Ekologis project is to reduce harmful emissions and to improve living conditions for everyone in Prague.
The project began with an awareness-raising campaign, talking to Prague transport and logistics businesses. A condition for their participation in the project was to sign a declaration, whereby each company would publicly commit to the principles of ecological and considerate driving.
The project is now entering its second phase, which aims to set up an Urban Consolidation Centre focused on small and medium sized operators downtown. The aim is to reduce van traffic in the overburdened city centre and to achieve a significant reduction in emissions by deploying more environmentally friendly vehicles.
The UCC will consolidate goods deliveries, using one or two electrically powered vans for onward distribution. The UCC is aiming to offer not only the consolidation of goods shipments and their deliveries, but also to provide a variety of other services, such as delivering or collecting items at agreed times, the storage and safekeeping of packages, price tagging, unpacking large consignments and repackaging them into smaller batches, taking care of waste disposal or of surplus materials, etc.
Ekologis stakeholders are Prague citizens, retailers, transport companies.
In the first stage, communication campaign - 2 million CZK, in the next stage the feasibility study “Innovatively optimizing supplies to businesses in downtown Prague by using electric vehicles” - 2.3 million CZK, the pilot project of the Urban Consolidation Centre will cost 2 million CZK per year.
Evidence of success
Urban consolidation centres already operate in many European cities, while London or Paris have small delivery firm logistical centres. The Prague consolidation centre will reduce congestion in downtown Prague, streamline the number of deliveries to establishments in Prague 1, lower emissions by using electric vehicles, provide new business services and save up to 10% of store operators’ costs.
Still to be resolved is the financial self-sufficiency of the Urban Consolidation Centre, since most companies (85%) are interested in it only if provided for free. It may be an issue to convince delivery firms that the UCC is a significant enabler for them to meet their delivery commitments.
Potential for learning or transfer
City logistics is a challenge in many European cities. Ekologis project is a practice that can be easily transferred to any bigger city.
This practice contributes to more attractive inner city; it helps to reduce emissions, it helps to increase efficiency and productivity of logistics processes; last but not least, it ultimately leads to cost reduction for retailers, transport companies and shippers and so increases company profitability.
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