To avoid congestion in urban environments, deliveries can be planned for periods with lower traffic volumes, so called “off-peak” or “out-of-hours” delivery. The basic premise is that deliveries are done outside of normal business hours, often in the night or early morning. For the haulage company this increases productivity since less time will be spent queueing thereby freeing up resources for productive work instead.
When doing off-peak deliveries, there are some considerations that need to be made:
- Reduce noise level. The normal handling of goods and equipment is often quite noisy, something that must be handled when delivering 24/7. Special wheels on forklifts, electric engines instead of combustion and low noise hydraulics are all important.
- Increased personnel costs per truck. The driver who is working off-peak normally gets paid more than a daytime driver. However, since productivity may increase (each driver will be able to service more stops), the total cost may still be reduced.
- Demands for consignee to invest in equipment to handle unmanned reception of goods. Normally, the consignee will not be present during the delivery. Therefore, there is a need for unattended reception of goods where risk of pilfering, vandalism etc. is reduced. This reception may very well be technological but can also be outsourced to actors that are available at the time of delivery to act as proxy consignee.