Commercial traffic clogs city streets, contributes to pollution, and drives up the cost of doing business. But there are many ways to do better.
Cities are the heart of the global economy, accounting for more than 80 percent of world GDP. Roads, rails, and other forms of transportation are the arteries that nourish that heart. When these become clogged or weakened, the results are severe. Businesses, residents, and cities all suffer, and the economic costs are high—as much as 2 to 4 percent of city GDP, in the form of lost time, wasted fuel, and higher costs of doing business.
Transforming urban deliveries
Six solutions can reduce the cost and pollution of commercial deliveries, and improve efficiency.
Last year, McKinsey and Bloomberg New Energy Finance published An integrated perspective on the future of mobility, which outlined four trends that are rapidly changing passenger transport: electrification, autonomy, connectivity, and sharing. The same four trends will, to a large degree, shape the future of commercial urban transport, which is the focus of this report. Commercial vehicles (CVs) contribute disproportionately to urban pollution and congestion. They are more apt to idle, make stops and starts, and block traffic. In general, they generate higher nitrogen-oxide and other emissions.
And there will likely be many more CVs on the road, given economic growth and the expansion of e-commerce (exhibit). Different solutions are emerging that could relieve the pressure. We examine six of these in detail, and consider how they can work in three kinds of urban areas: dense, developed cities like London and Tokyo; sprawling, developed cities like Los Angeles and Sydney; and dense, developing cities like Beijing and Mexico City. Autonomous commercial vehicles, for example, will likely be most attractive at first in places with high labor costs. Drones will work better in sprawling cities where there is ample space to land. Electric vehicles (EVs) can and eventually will work everywhere. . . .
There's a link at the end of the excerpted article above to the pdf file which contains the full report.