City councils and courier companies have both been grappling with congestion problems caused by the sheer number of delivery vehicles.
The rise of e-commerce means that parcel volumes are on track to increase 17-28% every year until 2021, according to BBC News. As consumers get used to the idea of receiving their parcels as soon as the day after ordering, companies have invested billions in the technology and facilities to make shipments ever speedier.
But time is wasted in the city centres, where traffic is an issue and it can be difficult for delivery drivers to find a legitimate space to park. Drivers will sometimes risk tickets and other penalties by double-parking to make deliveries.
Some cities, such as New York, have already banned deliveries in certain areas during certain hours. Companies such as UPS and Amazon have explored ideas like lockers, ebikes, and even the idea of allowing couriers into customers’ homes, in order to cut failed deliveries.
In the future, drones and robots are looking ever more likely.
But according to experts, the solution will have to be a collaborative one, not depending on city planning or the private sector alone. McKinsey, for example, a firm that has done research into sustainability, finds that the solutions will require a combination of new innovations in technology, new regulations, and new business models.