Environmental gain with the reduction of deliveries by 60-80 percent and increased competition are heart issues of municipal coordinated commodity distribution.
The reason behind this initiative was the inefficient distribution of goods (mainly food) to municipal entities, e.g. schools. Another aspect of the Swedish system is that the municipality often does not pay for the transport separately but it is included in the price of the product, hence the actual cost for transportation is hidden. To take control over the distribution of goods, and at the same time reduce the GHG, improve the traffic safety (due to fewer transports to schools) and work environment and in the long run improve regional/local food suppliers, municipalities can implement co-packed distribution. In Blekinge, in this specific project, there are ongoing discussion if the municipalities shall cooperate in a cluster. It will depend on the coherence of time plans for each municipality. The goal is to implement a distribution central and decrease the number of kilometers driven and the number of transports going to municipal destinations. To do this there are preparations going on at the moment where the municipalities inventory all destinations/addresses to which goods is delivered. The actual concept works in the way that the municipalities will establish a joint distribution warehouse to which each individual provider delivers their goods. The shipments are consolidated according to destination, thus reducing the number of separate deliveries from individual providers.
The total project budget is 2,66 million SEK. Both funding from EU and regional bodies and human capital from the participants. After the project ends the implemented system requires a continuous effort from the municipalities involved.
Evidence of success
The result of a municipal coordinated commodity distribution (KOSAVA) should not only be calculated in business terms but in combination with the socio-economic profit. The costs arising from the introduction and operation of a KOSAVA must therefore be offset against the benefits (primarily socio-economic) it generates. Where environmental gain, with the reduction of deliveries by 60-80 percent (to give an exact figure you need to calculate) and increased competition, are two heart issues.
In order to introduce major changes in the logistics in a municipality and to enter formal cooperation with other municipalities, political decision are needed. The political process takes time. Many municipalities do not have the needed competence and capacity to change their logistics. The chal
Potential for learning or transfer
Previous projects have shown that there is a challenge to cope with the sometimes differing aims and goals within and between municipalities. No common understanding of incentives. Goal to implement co-packed distribution is included in a Regional strategy for climate and energy. Getting the concept into a regional policy document creates necessary credibility for developing the concept further. Large CO2-saving potential can motivate the further implementation of such solutions. The concept reduces number of transports significant. As the municipalities themselves are in charge of the last mile deliveries (usually the most CO2 heavy per km), they are in direct control of vehicles and fuels used. Another relevant argument is the possibility to increase the locally produced food, as smaller supplier with less own transport and logistics capacity are able to deliver to one consolidating logistics node instead of several separate destinations within a region.