Congestion poses a threat to hospitality industry distribution

Clear policy, good cooperation, and data are all indispensable for better hospitality distribution, according to AUAS research

2 Jul 2019 12:47 | Communication

In the major shopping cities in the Netherlands, almost one in four retail establishments is a restaurant, hotel, bar or cafe, and this number is increasing. These thousands of hospitality entrepreneurs receive their supplies from many small distributors on a daily basis. As a result, distribution in the hospitality industry is bursting at the seams. Researchers at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) conducted a study into distribution in Amsterdam’s hospitality industry and have offered the city and the industry three possible solutions.

On 20 June, researchers of the City Logistics professorship presented the report ‘Distribution in Amsterdam's Hospitality Industry: towards empty plates and full streets’ (Horecadistibutie Amsterdam: op weg naar lege borden en volle straten) during the We Make the City festival.

Distribution in the hospitality industry no longer fits the size of the city. Of all the goods transport in Amsterdam, 30% is intended for hospitality industry distribution. Every day, 3,000 vans and 2,000 trucks make deliveries to the almost 5,000 hospitality businesses in the city, with an average of only two shipments. Three-quarters of these deliveries take place in the morning. Although the number of shipments is lower than that of the parcel delivery service, it concerns thirty times more transport movements. This result in traffic jams, dangerous situations and air pollution.

In their report, the researchers propose three possible solutions to relieve the pressure on the city:

  1. Collaboration between suppliers so that more goods are brought into the city with fewer vehicles; clean vehicles that are suited to the size of the city.
  2. An integrated policy vision on hospitality distribution in which regulations, the use of new technologies (such as electric vehicles and smart traffic information systems), the creation of space for logistics in the public space and the establishment of partnerships between hospitality distributors and hospitality entrepreneurs, are connected to each other. Ongoing projects on smart and clean hospitality distribution can be combined with long-term solutions such as zero-emission regulations.
  3. Up-to-date knowledge on the different flows of hospitality distribution in the city, to find the right solutions. Fresh, frozen and beverages each have their own logistics characteristics and challenges. In addition, the challenges of distribution are different in each district of the city. Having the right information about this is indispensable.

View the report here - Research into the opportunities and challenges of agri-food logistics and hospitality distribution in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (in Dutch).

These three possible solutions are detailed in the report. Supported by knowledge institutions such as the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, policymakers, hospitality distributors and hospitality entrepreneurs can work together to develop and implement solutions for smart and clean hospitality distribution.

For more information, please contact lecturer-researcher Kees-Willem Rademakers: Email: / Telephone: +31 (0)6-21155963