DHL is working to develop a logistics master plan for China’s fourth largest city, Chengdu.
The city of 14m people in the south-western Chinese province of Sichuan signed a letter of intent with the logistics giant that will see its cross-divisional unit DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation coming up with ways to improve the efficiency of Chengdu’s logistics infrastructure.
Analysis of traffic flows for goods coming in and out of the city and between its districts should lead to recommendations to help reduce congestion, improve air quality and improve delivery efficiency for city businesses.
DHL will look to apply its “urban freight centres” concept to the situation – the company believes a number of freight consolidation centres around the outskirts of a city makes for a more efficient set-up, with fewer larger vehicles venturing into city centres.
Jörg Hanser, the DHL director of solutions and innovation, said the partnership with the City of Chengdu was an opportunity to “prove our global capabilities” in the field of city logistics.
He said gaining a good understanding on the situation in Chengdu would mean developing a tailor-made plan for the city itself, that could also be seen as a model for other Chinese “megacities”.
“The eventual implementation of this solution could be a key success factor for the region and will help making the best use of its enormous business potential,” said Hanser.
DHL has been working with various municipal authorities in cities around the world on its City Logistics concept of the past few years, along with technical partners Siemens AG, DLR, SAP and Turkcell.
The company said improving urban logistics was increasingly important with projections that 70% of the world’s population will be based in cities by 2050.
It said Chengdu was becoming more of a global city, with international corporations choosing to locate their logistics hubs there to manage Western China operations.
Chen Zhongwei, chief of logistics for the Chengdu Commission, said: “We are very pleased to start this new partnership with DHL, a recognised thought leader in the logistics sector, to face the important challenge of optimising transport activities in our rapidly growing city.
“The ideal flow of goods and services in urban areas is not only raising its living standard but also its competitive advantage,” he added.