It’s about time: a pilot for off-peak deliveries in NYC

By David Tanner
associate editor


It may seem like a no-brainer that truckers prefer to make deliveries during off-peak hours in major cities. Officials in New York City and with the federal government are not only listening but also taking steps to make it happen more often.

As part of a pilot program, the NYC Department of Transportation, the U.S. DOT, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rutgers University and other agencies established partnerships between delivery companies and businesses to allow off-peak deliveries between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The results were encouraging for the 33 delivery companies and 25 business locations participating in the pilot program.

The study showed that travel speeds from a truck depot to a delivery driver’s first stop in Manhattan improved by 75 percent.

Truckers were able to reduce curbside wait times from 100 minutes to just 30 minutes by making the switch. Delivery routes with multiple stops were sped up by an average of 48 minutes per truck.

OOIDA leadership helped provide input to stakeholders, meeting on several occasions with Transportation and Environment Professor Jose Holguin-Veras of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The Association views it as a win-win situation in terms of cost effectiveness and efficiency, without increasing taxes or fees and without setting up complicated systems, GPS or congestion pricing.

The NYC pilot program was funded with a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration and $640,000 from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 Around the country, truckers continue to be at the mercy of just-in-time deliveries and are forced to travel through congested areas at the worst possible times.

OOIDA says Holguin-Veras has demonstrated something that more cities should pay attention to. The Association notes that the study should enlighten people of ways to deal with congestion and other traffic problems without spending or borrowing more money.

The NYC DOT is encouraging input and an increase in participation. If you are a carrier, receiver or funding source, contact the DOT’s Office of Freight Mobility at 212-839-6670 or visit LL