INADEQUATE planning has made Australian cities unfriendly for freight, the Australian Logistics Council says.
Council chief executive, Michael Kilgariff, said the issue had been raised during engagement on developing the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy and came into focus when the ALC presented at the Online Retail Logistics 2017 event.
“To put it bluntly, Australia’s cities are not freight-friendly. This is an inevitable consequence of planning systems that fail to properly account for freight movement,” Mr Kilgariff said.
“Moreover, unless remedial action is taken, the problem is set to worsen.
“Australia is already one of most highly urbanised countries in the world, and a significant proportion of the residential and employment growth projected to occur in the years ahead will be heavily concentrated in CBD areas.”
Mr Kilgariff said the larger cities grew, the more the freight task increased.
“Accordingly, if we wish to grow our cities and ensure their continuing functionality and amenity, we must adopt policies which can support that increasing freight task,” he said.
“Yet, the default instinct in many of our urban planning systems (not to mention many political representatives) is to adopt policies that impede urban freight delivery, especially in CBD areas, by limiting access for heavy vehicles.”
He said the growing difficulty of freight delivery in cities was occurring during a period where growth in e-Commerce was fuelling expectations of faster delivery times and lower shipping costs.
The ALC’s recent submission to the Discussion Paper on National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities – entitled Freight Doesn’t Vote – includes suggestions from industry for dealing with the challenges of city freight delivery.
“The movement of freight is essential to the everyday functionality of Australia’s cities,” Mr Kilgariff said. “Unless we make the right policy changes now to facilitate greater efficiency in freight delivery, our cities – and the people who live and work in them – risk being boxed in.”