Within Kalisz pilot, the concept of introducing a digital mobility solution for improving the organization and management of the reloading operations in the city centre was developed and validated. The concept was based on implementing a sensor network using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which enables access to transport data in real-time. The target users were urban freight transport drivers who were able to book a reloading bay via SPROUT application on their phones.
As an assumption, the reloading bay enabled the trucks to go directly to the booked parking place at the specific time, and park and reload close to the designated place. It resulted in the reduction of unnecessary truck traffic and manoeuvring, and growing safety for pedestrians and other drivers during the whole transport operation.
The test results confirmed that the bays are used on average 9 times a day. There are two reasons for such a limited number: the pandemic, with unknown influence on city deliveries, and the very short time of reloading operations (close to 40% in less than 5 minutes), enabling drivers to park in non-designated spaces and avoid fees. Most reloading activities take place between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. In the rest of the time reloading bays may be used for parking of private cars. Additionally, the demand for bay reservations needs to be reviewed to persuade the drivers to use the solution on the regular basis.
The research should be extended as residents and users have to get used to the new transport solutions. Despite the fact that implementing of the Internet of Things in freight management has great potential, specific technical solutions and a targeted bay network adapted to local businesses need to be considered. It is also crucial to let the delivery bays become available for residents outside established delivery times.