I participated in the Malmö Climathon 2017, a hackathon with the aim to improve the environmental situation in specific scenarios. The Climathon is a 24h hour event hosted by Climate-KIC and the municipality of Malmö. I came alone and formed a team with three other enthusiastic people: Davina, Jenny & Michelle. We had all different backgrounds and tried to find a common solution to pitch within 24h.
Sofielund, a district of Malmö needs to get a climate friendly freight solution: Less noise and air pollution by hundreds of trucks and vans that deliver goods in the partly residential and industrial area. So different goods that demand different transport solutions, from letters to spare parts of cars.
The “last mile” is the most expensive for logistic companies and other initiatives, e.g. Sege Park in Malmö, have it hard to attract the private sector to take over publically paid prototypes that try to work with emission free solutions. Our aim was therefore to make a proposal not for the municipality but for existing logistic companies that have to cover the last mile. The technological part was not so much in our focus as we believe there are solutions: E-Trucks pick up goods from the outskirts of the city and bring them in, just like today, but after dropping of some their empty space can get filled with other goods that go either out or circle within the city. Our proposal therefore doesn’t cover Sofielund only, instead it’s applicable to the whole of Malmö and other metropolitan areas. The chaotic shelf system, that amazon uses to randomly fill space in it’s warehouses, could be a solution for such trucks as well, where the space gets filled by just adding it, the computer knows the location.
As mentioned before, the technological solutions are there, trucks could get calls, just like UBER-drivers and just pick up something along the way. Waiting times could get used to charge the batteries and automated driving will bring even more flexibility in the future.
The business model however, is based on a mixture of existing infrastructure and necessary investment. Today, existing Diesel trucks could do the job, while the companies have to change to E-Trucks anyway. Joined drives reduce the number of trucks on the road immediately, less conjunction, less noise and pollution, fewer accidents. Gradually changing the trucks to E-Trucks will reduce the emissions even further. Logistic companies know the market, they change their fleet already (StreetScooter). Pricing is another important factor. The prices are very competitive, but some people would like to pay more for direct delivery and others can wait for their goods or show flexibility in picking up the deliveries. These factors create a dynamic pricing system, based on the flexibility of the customer.
Using this form of truck pooling is also a generator of new jobs as companies can settle and base on a existing infrastructure. Own vehicles become less and less important.
I wasn’t sure if I could still stay 24h+ awake, but I managed 🙂 Thanks to the organisers for this great event and all the help we got!
Some impressions photographed by Marc Malmqvist and Sanna Dolck Wall from Malmö Stad: