featured graphic for the Southern California Association of Governments, SCAG

Last-Mile Freight Study addresses impacts of surge in business, home deliveries

In a new report published this week, SCAG has unveiled a series of strategies to address challenges caused by the growing role freight shipments and e-commerce play in our lives. The Last-Mile Freight Study provides solutions to the logistical challenges and community impacts resulting from the rapidly increasing demand for commercial and home deliveries.

Nationwide, parcel deliveries are expected to double by 2025, which is creating serious challenges regarding efficiencies and delays, street congestion and public safety. While goods are often shipped long distances to reach their destination, the final segment of a shipment – the “last mile” – tends to be the most complicated as delivery vehicles compete for space with cars, transit vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. According to the study, last-mile costs can exceed 50 percent of the total delivery.

While the study area was within the City of Los Angeles, the methodology and findings could apply just about anywhere. Among the major recommendations:

  • Develop regional strategies for off-peak deliveries.
  • Update building and zoning codes to require loading space.
  • Convert on-street parking to loading areas where ample off-street parking is available.
  • Incentivize the use of clean-air vehicles for deliveries.

The study points to Southern California’s role as a global logistics and supply-chain hub and notes the continued expansion of e-commerce fulfillment centers in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. And while the data collection and analysis for the Last-Mile Freight Study predates the onset of COVID-19, many of the trends have since accelerated, with some product delivery categories showing exponential increases year over year. Read the full report on SCAG’s website.

This article was released by the Southern California Association of Governments.

Editor’s note: This article has relevance in reference to a proposed last-mile Amazon facility on Katella Ave. in Cypress at the former Mitsubishi location.