21 February 2018

CPA members took part in a morning policy briefing on Wednesday 21 February, to discuss freight and consolidation in the City of London. The event was kindly hosted by Ashurst and involved a wide-ranging panel discussion on the logistical challenges and opportunities facing the City of London.

The briefing started with an introduction by the meeting’s chair, Patricia Brown, Director of Central, and an opening statement by Ian Simmons, Assistant Director (City Transportation) at the City of London Corporation. Ian’s opening comments provided an overview of the policies and initiatives planned by the Corporation. Ian also remarked on the approval of the Freight and Servicing supplementary planning document (SPD) by the Planning and Transportation Committee.

Overall, three priorities for the City of London Corporation were identified:

  • The Corporation’s own buildings must be consolidated, including the consolidation of the Guildhall, which will start in spring 2018. This would test scalability, set a precedent for other market participants, and reaffirm the commercial viability of consolidation.
  • A push for a sustainable logistics strategy through supply chain modifications will begin during the summer of 2018. This would ensure the maximisation of goods vehicles’ utility and reduce the adverse impact of congestion.
  • The City of London would release some of its assets to improve micro-consolidation capabilities at the heart of the City.

There was a lively panel discussion from speakers Mark Evans, Property Management Director at Broadgate Estates; Darran Reid, Assistant Director of Commercial Contract Management at City of London Corporation; Mark Ridley, CPA President and Commercial Director at Stanhope, and Martin Schulz, Principal Consultant – Logistics at Arup.

Martin Schulz explored the wider industry practices, such as those followed by the Heathrow consolidation centre, and Arup’s efforts in this area. He touched on the need to consolidate supply chains and increase the commercial viability of consolidation centres after an examination of the most (and least) successful initiatives.

Mark Evans discussed the issue from the perspective of Broadgate Estates by examining the logistical issues facing his portfolio of mixed-use developments in the Square Mile and talking about the schemes that Broadgate is pursuing to improve the management of freight and deliveries. He also touched on the increased importance of the subject, noting that some occupiers increasingly used their place of work to receive personal deliveries.

Mark Ridley reflected on his own experience of handling freight and consolidation issues on various Stanhope projects. Providing a valuable developer’s perspective, he identified the potential challenges arising from the introduction of consolidation centres for the City’s Eastern Cluster. He congratulated the City of London on being a global leader in the freight and consolidation sphere.

Darran Reid provided insightful analysis on the ways that interaction between the Corporation and business can be improved in relation to the freight and consolidation issues facing the City.

The panel and members of the audience also explored the potential for utilizing the Thames to relieve some of the pressure on the road network. Some insightful solutions were proposed, however, the commercial viability of such deliveries was called into question.

Members are encouraged to visit the City Streets: Transport for a changing Square Mile exhibition held by the City of London at the City Centre until 31 March.