Micro Freight Hub
Micro Freight Hub
The importance of efficient, local freight delivery has never been greater. The response to COVID-19 has put new constraints and demands on the urban freight system, but also highlighted the essential and critical nature of delivery and distribution. New requirements for reducing human contact only add weight to many of the strategies such as ghost kitchens, locker deliveries, and autonomous driverless delivery vehicles, already envisioned prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Frontier MPO and the City of Fort Smith are examining how to offer microfreight hubs in North Fort Smith and the type of business model that would best work for such implementation. For instance, could agencies, disadvantaged businesses act as microfreight hubs; can bikeshare or other shared mobility services be used?
More importantly, potential economic benefit and re-investment into lower-income areas from microfreight hubs and shared mobility services could occur in diverse and historically marginalized areas, such as North Fort Smith. Equitable access to goods, services, economic benefit, and reducing opportunity barriers may be accomplished through such a study.
What is a Microfreight Hub?
A microfreight hub is a central drop-off/pick-up location for goods, with closer proximity to the delivery point and serving a smaller range of a service area. Microfreight hubs may be used by multiple delivery firms, retailers, and customers, along with improving sustainability by allowing the last leg of delivery mode to be shifted to low-emission vehicles, shared mobility services (bikeshare) or soft transportation modes (bike or walking). In addition to allowing for consolidation or deconsolidation of shipments, the design also enables customers to engage with additional services.
Microfreight Hubs provide:
- Access points for shared mobility
- Touchless pick-up and drop-off points
- Homebase for last-mile delivery, autonomous, and modalities
- Shared public space
- Potential charging infrastructure
- Increased delivery density, reducing traffic and delivery vehicle dwell time
- Trip chaining capability
- Equitable access to goods, services, and reduced opportunity barriers
- Economic investment in community
Learn about the Seattle Neighborhood Delivery Hub in the video on the right!