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Title: The impact of inadequate off-loading facilities in commercial office buildings. Upon freight efficiency and security in urban areas
Authors: Morris, Anne G.
Keywords: Freight efficiencySecurityOff-loading facilitiesLoading baysFreight elevators
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
ISTIEE Istituto per lo studio dei trasporti nell’integrazione economica europea
Source: Anne G. Morris, "The impact of inadequate off-loading facilities in commercial office buildings. Upon freight efficiency and security in urban areas", in: European Transport / Trasporti Europei, X (2004) 28, pp. 85-93.
Series/Report no.: European Transport / Trasporti Europei
X (2004) 28
Substantial impediments to freight efficiency and security exist in the “last mile” of the logistics supply
chain in New York City’s Central Business District (CBD). The “last mile,” a largely invisible obstacle in
the transportation infrastructure, is a euphemism for the activity that takes place in close proximity to the
destination, or delivery point, of product ranging from pharmaceuticals to copy paper. The challenges
shippers face in moving products and services to small and large business in New York City are
representative of the freight mobility problems that occur in congested urban areas worldwide.
In focus groups and interviews, carrier and shipper representatives repeatedly reported that inadequate
off-loading facilities in commercial office buildings (COBs) were a major barrier to freight efficiency in
New York’s CBD. These findings were supported in surveys completed by 82 property managers who
provided information on their buildings’ age, size, composition of tenancy by industry, number and size
of loading bays and the number and capacity of freight elevators. Time and motion studies of vehicular
deliveries to loading docks at six COBs with floors ranging from 25-64 were carried out to determine
dwell times and truck size.
Despite a 300% increase in truck deliveries to COBs located in the CBD over the past twenty-five
years, New York City has not revised zoning regulations for off-loading facilities since 1972. To that end,
requirements for the number and size of loading bays and freight elevators in five major American cities
were compared with those of New York City. It was found that loading bay requirements for New York
City were the lowest of the cities surveyed. There were no requirements for freight elevators in the cities
under study.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, loading dock security, which was always a
concern, became a major issue for COB property managers. This has lead to the imposition of more
rigorous security procedures at many off-loading facilities that have increased the cost of moving goods
into the CBD and doing business in New York.
The formulation of guidelines for an appropriate number and size of loading bays and sufficient freight
elevators and the development of strategies for retrofitting existing off-loading facilities will offer broad
societal benefits that will increase freight efficiency and security and decrease energy consumption, onstreet
congestion and air pollution.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-3997
Appears in Collections:European Transport / Trasporti Europei (2004) 28/X

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