Armies of Online Delivery Trucks Are Invading America’s Cities

Cities across America are already grappling with a number of challenges related to the rise of online shopping, not least of which is the hit to sales tax revenues. But here’s one problem you may not have initially thought of: the army of delivery trucks converging on congested urban roads.

Anne Goodchild and Barbara Ivanov of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics (SCTL) Center at the University of Washington just explored this phenomenon in a piece published in The Conversation. The Center recently formed a new Urban Freight Lab to help solve delivery system problems affecting businesses and cities.

“City managers and policymakers were already grappling with high demand and competing uses for scarce road, curb and sidewalk space,” Goodchild and Ivanov write. “If cities do not act quickly to revamp the way they manage increasing numbers of commercial vehicles unloading goods in streets and alleys and into buildings, they will drown in a sea of double-parked trucks.”

As the article notes, consumers now purchase more than half of their goods online. That translates to a whole lot of freight trucks on the road—noise, traffic, pollution and all.

You can read the entire piece here.