Strategy Partners Group, on assignment from the Moscow Government Transportation and Road Infrastructure Development Department, recently developed the Moscow Cargo Transportation Governance Strategic Plan, which aims to spread more evenly the numbers of trucks running on the metropolitan road network. The Strategic Plan was devised based on experience from across the globe of how to best govern freight logistics in major cities, along with field surveys that actually identified the profile of freight transportation in the city.
The current freight transportation system, which is not coordinated, leads to unfeasibly high levels of trucks running around the city’s roads and causes major traffic jams and bottlenecks. Many large cities in the world have suffered this problem and concluded that liberal market tools are inefficient when applied to metropolitan transportation systems. When each road user chooses the best logistical solution only for himself/herself, the result is that a transportation situation develops that suits no one, affecting both freight and passenger transportation services. There are, however, numerous freight logistic optimisation mechanisms in the world allowing for the total mileage of trucks to be reduced, while creating separated freight/passenger timetables and routes and in part redistributing cargos to rail and river transportation providers. Not all of these mechanisms are applicable in Moscow; nevertheless, Moscow is not so special so as to completely discount the solutions that have been proven successful in other cities.
The survey of cargo traffic conducted in February–March 2013 helped to define the cargo transportation structure and confirmed the worst fears of the experts in relation to the efficiency levels of cargo transportation in Moscow. Among the findings, it was noted that only around 24% of trucks were loaded with goods; that 65% of the freight being processed at OAO RZhD freight terminals is destined for further transit outside of Moscow, (i.e. freight coming in via the railways and then being carried by trucks to destinations outside the Moscow Ring Road, or vice versa); and that 35% of the truck traffic comprised trucks in transit (i.e., trucks being moved from one location to another) or carrying transit freight (carrying freight from one location in Moscow to another).
The strategic plan includes the following measures aimed at improving the logistics of truck traffic in the city:
1. Introduce backbone freight roads. Backbone freight roads are roads and streets where truck transit is allowed. Backbone freight roads include roads that connect large facilities from which lots of cargo and freight needs to be distributed, and should consist of roads that do not have infrastructural limitations. The roads should be located a sufficient distance away from residential areas. Truck traffic along streets other than backbone roads should be allowed only if the final destination of the truck’s cargo, or authorised parking spaces, repair or maintenance facilities, are located outside the usual network of backbone roads.
2. Organise dedicated cargo handling points. Designated spots for the handling of trucks carrying cargo should be set up on streets with high concentrations of retail facilities, and in particular near trading facilities that cannot perform cargo handling activities in their yard area. Dedicated cargo handling points would help avoid the necessity of having second-row truck parking and would ensure that supplies could be easily delivered to retail facilities located on pedestrian streets without having to actually drive onto these streets. Passenger vehicles would be prohibited from stopping and parking at cargo handling points.
3. Introduce an ecology-based truck limitation system. In order to improve the quality of service and reduce the negative impact caused to the city environment by truck traffic, from 01 January 2015, access for trucks to the Third Transport Ring and Moscow Ring Road will be controlled based on whether or not they meet Euro-ecology emission standards. In order to enter the area within the Moscow Ring Road, a truck will have to ensure its emissions qualify under Euro-2 standards; and in order to enter the area within the Third Transport Ring, a truck must qualify under Euro-3 emissions standards.
4. Create the conditions for the development of Terminal Logistic Centres (TLC). Terminal Logistic Centres are property complexes that include ground areas with transportation, warehouse and logistical infrastructure facilities and operators that provide basic services for the TLC residents, such as accepting goods and materials, shipment and storage services, and other services relevant to players in the transportation and logistics industry. Initially TLCs will be of three types: multi-format TLCs, consolidation & distribution centres, and agro & food clusters.
5. Develop an admission and traffic monitoring system for trucks on the city road network by introducing photo/video camera and GPS/Glonass monitoring systems.
Strategy Partners Group continues to aid Moscow City Government in re-organising the city’s truck logistics system.