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    Blog January 19, 2022 Could ICT Help Improve Construction Logistics in Urban Areas? , Tele2IOT

    Could ICT Help Improve Construction Logistics in Urban Areas?

    As the current urbanization trend puts pressure on city development, there is a need to manage transport to and from a construction site more efficiently, as well as materials handling on-site. Why is this important?

    Well, the facts* are clear:

    • 50% of urban goods transport (weight) in Sweden are construction-related
    • 10% of CO2 emissions in a construction householding projects are transport related
    • Urban areas will continue to be under constant development

    These facts were presented at a very educational final conference of the MIMIC project, a JPI Urban Europe project with partners from Belgium, Norway, Austria, and Sweden.  This project aims to demonstrate how smart governance concepts can be used to aid in the construction and city planning processes, facilitating and supporting logistics to, from, and on urban construction sites. This is needed to improve mobility and reduce congestion within cities and thereby reduce the negative impact of construction sites on the surrounding community.

    Current construction logistics not optimized with city logistics in mind

    It seems most construction projects are run as silos with 3 phases: pre-production, ongoing production, and during use. One approach that is often used is to employ Construction Logistics Setups (CSL) in order to face three challenges: management of transport to and from construction sites, management of logistics at construction sites, and managing the interorganizational relationships amongst construction project stakeholders.

    But construction transports are not independent from the rest of the urban logistics, so the CSL approach is not optimal for urban logistics.

    Linda Ekener Mägi Business Development Manager Tele2 IoT

    Research** shows that 50% of construction transports arrive between 07:00-09:00 Monday to Thursday, which makes it is obvious there could be improvements by integrating planning of construction logistics into the overall city logistics planning.

    How can ICT contribute?

    In the MIMIC project the real-life impact on construction logistics on city traffic was evaluated. Key to that was real data collected from:

    • Mobile phones (anonymized indicating city traffic as a whole)
    • Fleet management systems to identify construction related traffic

    This historical data can help create models that can be used to simulate scenarios, which is important input when planning logistics. Collected data is of course also needed to measure different KPIs and to compare actuals to the plan.

    But could real-time data or remote steering create additional value?

    Already today most heavy vehicles are equipped with fleet management solutions. If there are any delays in construction activities or goods reception availability, the vehicle can be notified to reduce speed and improve fuel economy.

    Electrification is also an opportunity in construction logistics, but it poses challenges such as managing charging, as vehicle utilization is key. To successfully utilize electrification in this heavy vehicle context new ways of operating transport on construction projects must be implemented. You would need better coordination and planning to assure resource utilization, as fully charging still takes much longer than refueling. That could be enabled, though, by connected vehicles, as well as connected charging infrastructure. What if you could monitor and steer all onsite and delivery vehicle charging levels on an overall system level and optimize it? Perhaps it would be cost effective to charge instead of deliver during 07:00 – 09:00, when city traffic is at its peak? And of course charging solutions during usage, such as the one provided by Elonroad, could be part of the solution, especially for onsite vehicles.

    In conclusion, urban areas will be under constant development and so will the ICT solutions to support construction logistics. I’m looking forward to also being part of the solution. If you would like to learn more about this solution or any other ways we can help with your IoT solution, please get in touch.

    Linda Ekener Mägi
    Business Development Manager
    Tele2 IoT


    * TRAFA 2020.
    ** The transport footprint of Swedish construction sites. Ahmet Anil Sezer and Anna Fredriksson 2020 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 588 042001