Planning for urban freight distribution of agriculural produces: Case study of Gurgaon

Blog | May 28, 2021 | Yash Pratap Singh

The era of urban freight is gaining its importance due to increase in the e-commerce business in the developing nations where it was neglected over the decades in any city planning, preparation of master plans and players involves in the freight sector which constitutes 78% of road freight traffic in urban areas for short & long-haul distances where freight represents 90% of complete GHG emanations and 35% to 60% of coordination costs. Inside coordinations, UF is one of the costliest and outflow series portions of the graceful chain which makes dependency of retail sector on a wholesale in urban areas. Business vehicles additionally represent around 30 to 50 percent of air contamination, (for example, particulate issue (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), in urban areas in industrialized economies, and excess of 50 percent for urban areas in creating nations. Cities are the center of economic & social life, transporting products inside urban areas is necessary where Gurgaon set an example of a satellite city that uplifts the demand of agricultural produces from various wholesaler markets present in NCR due to well-transformed gateways, networks, infrastructure but lacking due to lack of weak supply chain, freight infrastructure, a large number of HGV vehicles, parking and congestion issues where no market in urban areas could exist without a massive, sustained and reliable flows of goods to from and within it. The UF affects the overall efficiency of the Agri-supply chain due to a lack of logistics infrastructure for perishable goods, freight delay in deliveries, lack of a suitable cluster of operations to support market-to-consumer where maximum losses constitute around 70% in the urban area. This article tends to explain the importance of UF where the supply chain of perishable goods should be created in a way where we can reduce the externalities like distribution time, loading/unloading cost, congestion cost, environmental cost and emissions by providing the shortest path, dedicated freight network, night deliveries and location-allocation of perishable goods from wholesale markets to retailers (SAFAL, Reliance Fresh, Farm Go) by optimizing their transport models. The urban freight system is not only limited to the manufacturer/wholesaler to a distributor in the supply chain. It also provided the inputs (e.g., perishable products), processing the output (e.g. processing markets or distribution centers and perishable goods) using produce and transporting the products to the retailer or end consumer through the freight planning process in the wholesale market in urban areas (Gopal Naik, 2018). The logistics, cold storage and warehousing infrastructure in the study area enjoys a locational benefit marked by its spatial confluence with the commercial arteries (DMIC, AKIC and Eastern peripheral corridor). The study area boasts a well-connected service network and transport infrastructure offering good prospects for multi-modal logistics infrastructure growth where investment regions such as Dharuhera, Bawal with broad infrastructure projects like freight corridors that traverse Gurgaon. For commodity-specific distribution at intra-city level, freight generating and handling areas along with the nodes determine the carrying capacity of UF where 35% of fruits and 65% of vegetables coming daily in Gurgaon with the provision of 2 cold storage facilities of 960 MT and 780 MT in the city. In Gurgaon, 273747 goods vehicles will be passing daily by the wholesale markets also with the increase in LCV’s (Light commercial vehicles) and GCR (Goods commercial vehicle). To promote Electric vehicles for safe, clean and eco-friendly last-mile distribution from markets to distribution centers the payload, capacity utilization, total ton and vehicle kilometer per day will help the adoption of more electric vehicles to reduce the environmental impacts on the environment. In Gurgaon, UF is characterized into mandi, route and fleet characteristics to understand the pre-and post-impact of performance indicators like loading and unloading time, Ton-km, demand and supply, fleets size, idle time and vehicle kilometer travelled per day which helps start-ups, operators and OEM’s to understand the UF travel pattern of the city to bring the state of the art technology to deploy EV for last-mile logistics where various perishable clients like - big-basket, fresh menu, Farm Go, SAFAL, Agrowave are distributing their products with a large presence of revolutionary model of EV (L3 and L5) for B2B (Business to business) category to bring down the freight and logistics cost from a segment of the market to retailer to distribution centers. Agrowave is a farm to the business mobility supply chain that is constantly using EV for their B2B operations to save time, reduce cost, generate revenue and shaping the city as a model for sustainable city logistics.

Electric vehicles do not emit direct CO2 emissions and instead produce minimal noise, but they are more costly and less commercial than combustion vehicles. Nevertheless, in their last-mile distribution activities, many companies have begun to use electric cars, and governments and private companies are continuing to provide the requisite infrastructure to further fuel this electrification trend. EV for perishable goods in Gurgaon worked as a cluster-based distribution for effective freight movement with less congestion. BEV (Battery electric vehicles) deployed in wholesale markets or farm gates to load the goods for intra-city distribution from E2W and E3W based on the payload which helps to save daily trips, reduction in fleet size, time/trips, ton carried/trip with the provision of serviceable areas of 300 mtr and 600 mtr with the location-allocation model which generate more demand at the same time to avoid reverse logistics practice. Urban freight is the backbone of city logistics and the most promising aspects to be studied and developing the strategic planning and models inclusively for their Inter and Intra-city level movement to be relying upon large EV operator for their B2B, B2C and hyperlocal operations after their efficient freight movement in urban areas.