Busi­nesses con­cerned about im­pact of ur­ban­iza­tion on lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

Nearly all com­pa­nies are con­cerned about how ur­ban­iza­tion will im­pact busi­ness growth and sus­tain­abil­ity, with less than half feel­ing up to the chal­lenges it will pose to lo­gis­tics and busi­ness op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

“The Road to Sus­tain­able Ur­ban Lo­gis­tics,” a study by global lo­gis­tics com­pany United Par­cel Ser­vice (UPS) and the Green­biz Group, re­veals that only 47% of sur­vey re­spon­dents said they feel pre­pared to ad­dress the as­so­ciated busi­ness chal­lenges of ur­ban­iza­tion.

Fur­ther, re­spon­dents cite air qual­ity (58%) and traf­fic con­ges­tion (53%) as top con­cerns over other ur­ban chal­lenges.

Other is­sues men­tioned are con­ve­nience of public trans­porta­tion, safety, and noise.

Mean­while the two big­gest bar­ri­ers to more ef­fi­cient and sus­tain­able ur­ban lo­gis­tics are in­suf­fi­cient col­lab­o­ra­tion across sec­tors, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment (65% of re­spon­dents), and lack of crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture (64%).

Other no­table bar­ri­ers iden­ti­fied by re­spon­dents are lack of in­vest­ment in in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions (56%), lack of lead­er­ship ac­count­abil­ity (49%), gov­er­nance (36%), and de­mand su­per­sed­ing ca­pa­bil­ity (25%).

“This re­search clearly high­lights the com­plex­ity of lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments,” said Mark Wal­lace, se­nior vice pres­i­dent, global engi­neer­ing and sus­tain­abil­ity. “In­creased ur­ban­iza­tion and con­ges­tion make lo­gis­tics far less pre­dictable and harder to man­age. With­out im­ple­ment­ing in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions sup­ported by tech­nol­ogy and lo­gis­tics in­ge­nu­ity, we run the risk of in­creas­ing con­ges­tion and emis­sions-we need so­lu­tions, and col­lab­o­ra­tion is the key.”

Mov­ing goods is an es­sen­tial func­tion to sup­port busi­nesses and res­i­dents, and a fun­da­men­tal source of eco­nomic growth in cities. Ac­cess to e-com­merce is part of what makes al­ter­na­tive trans­porta­tion modes and walk­a­ble ur­ban­ism a vi­able choice. At the same time, trans­porta­tion and de­liv­ery can con­trib­ute to pol­lu­tion and grid­lock, and can be chal­leng­ing for com­pa­nies both large and small to man­age sus­tain­ably.

When asked how the rise in e-com­merce, in­creased ur­ban­iza­tion, and con­ges­tion have af­fected how they con­duct busi­ness in ur­ban ar­eas, 81% of sur­vey re­spon­dents noted some form of im­pact on their busi­ness, such as the abil­ity to meet e-com­merce cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions (33%), make de­liv­er­ies to re­tail lo­ca­tions (32%), meet city re­quire­ment for emis­sion lev­els (31%), over­come de­liver chal­lenges re­sult­ing from city trans­porta­tion reg­u­la­tions (30%), and sur­mount chal­lenges to de­liv­er­ies to res­i­den­tial cus­tomers.

Ac­cord­ing to UN pro­jec­tions, con­tin­u­ing pop­u­la­tion growth and ur­ban­iza­tion are pro­jected to add 2.5 bil­lion peo­ple to the world’s ur­ban pop­u­la­tion by 2050. The study of­fers in­sights on strate­gies and pilot projects be­ing ex­plored to bet­ter man­age the move­ment of goods in cities, now and in the fu­ture.

The results point to­ward data-driven tech­nolo­gies that in­crease ef­fi­cien­cies and re­duce traf­fic, re­new­able and al­ter­na­tive en­ergy and fu­els that help ad­dress air qual­ity is­sues, the ac­cu­rate mea­sure­ment and man­age­ment of car­bon emis­sions, and sup­ply chain op­ti­miza­tion.

The real difference-maker, though, isn’t any sin­gle piece of tech­nol­ogy. It’s the com­mit­ment to part­ner with cities, aca­demics, and other busi­ness lead­ers to de­velop so­lu­tions to­gether.

“While progress is cer­tainly un­der­way, no one en­tity can tackle the chal­lenge of build­ing and im­ple­ment­ing the fu­ture needs of sus­tain­able cities,” said John Davies, Green­Biz Group’s vice pres­i­dent and se­nior an­a­lyst.

“Smart col­lab­o­ra­tions, con­tin­ued re­search and in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture will re­main crit­i­cal to meet the lo­gis­ti­cal and environmental de­mands cities face. Driv­ing pol­icy dis­cus­sions and de­ci­sions based on data is es­sen­tial to en­sur­ing op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies for com­pa­nies and pre­serv­ing a de­sir­able qual­ity of life for city dwellers.”

The ma­jor­ity of sur­vey re­spon­dents (63%) believe busi­nesses’ role is crit­i­cal to ac­cel­er­at­ing, pi­lot­ing, and adopt­ing in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to creat­ing more sus­tain­able ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments. And an over­whelm­ing 72% want to work closely with city of­fi­cials to do so. -- www.port­calls.com

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