1.5 Million Packages a Day : The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets


  • 1.5 Million Packages a Day : The Internet Brings Chaos to N.Y. Streets - The New York Times

    The push for convenience is having a stark impact on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution in New York City and urban areas around the world.

    As the delivery armada has ballooned, so, too, have the complaints.

    Four delivery companies — FedEx, FreshDirect, Peapod and UPS — accumulated just over 515,000 summonses for parking violations in 2018, totaling $27 million in fines, according to the city. In 2013, those same companies received roughly 372,000 summonses and paid $21.8 million.

    Images and videos of delivery trucks blocking bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks are easy to find on social media. In some neighborhoods, Amazon’s ubiquitous boxes are stacked and sorted on the sidewalk, sometimes on top of coverings spread out like picnic blankets.

    “They are using public space as their private warehouse,” said Christine Berthet, who lives in Midtown Manhattan. “That is not acceptable. That is not what the sidewalk is for.”

    The total number of trucks on tolled crossings into New York City and within the five boroughs rose about 9.4 percent in 2018, to an estimated 35.7 million, from 32.6 million in 2013, according to transit data.

    “There is just not enough room for all the trucks that need to make deliveries, the cars that need to get past them and the people who live here,” Mr. Kallos said.

    Trucks are also contributing to greenhouse gas emissions at a time when New York City is rushing to significantly reduce the release of heat-trapping gases.

    From 1990 to 2017, carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks in the New York City area grew by 27 percent, making the region the largest contributor of driving-related carbon dioxide emissions in the country.

    As the internet economy grows, so, too, does the importance of what is known as last-mile package delivery — the final step in the increasingly competitive and costly process of moving items to customers’ homes as quickly as possible.

    In New York, at least five warehouses, are in the works. Over the summer, Amazon opened a last-mile warehouse in the Bronx and another in Queens. It has also looked at leasing additional facilities for last-mile deliveries in Brooklyn.

    Another multistory warehouse, planned on 18 acres in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is expected to be the country’s largest last-mile warehouse, Mr. Hertz said.

    Their warehouses in Red Hook, as well as a multistory warehouse to be built in the South Bronx, are going up in Opportunity Zones, which were created as part of the 2017 tax law and offer significant tax benefits to projects in economically distressed areas.

    The program has been criticized for giving tax breaks to wealthy people who invest in the zones, while not significantly helping struggling neighborhoods.

    Developers of these warehouses have pledged to create thousands of jobs and reduce the wave of delivery trucks entering New York City.

    These days, buildings have been forced to become mini logistical centers.

    At one Midtown Manhattan condominium, the first wave of about 100 packages a day arrives by 9 a.m. and the deliveries do not let up until night. Each one is checked in and placed in a storage room, and an email alert is sent to the resident. Another email confirms when the package is picked up.

    A large complex in Manhattan had to turn a nearby retail storefront into a satellite package center. Stickers are left on building mailboxes notifying residents of a package, but some residents complain that the stickers fall off or get pulled off and packages go missing.

    Other buildings without storage space resort to piling boxes in their lobbies.

    About 15 percent of New York City households receive a package every day, according to the Sustainable Urban Freight Systems center at Rensselaer. That means a complex with 800 apartments would get roughly 120 packages daily.

    “What percent of your deliveries are truly urgent — 5 percent or 2 percent?” said Mr. Holguín-Veras, the Rensselaer professor. “We as customers are driving the process and to some extent creating these complications.”

    Last year, a study comparing online shopping habits in Manhattan and Paris — two large metropolises grappling with the consequences of the e-commerce boom — found that New Yorkers out-ordered Parisians. Nearly three-quarters of the Manhattan residents surveyed had shopped for groceries online compared with just over half of Parisians.

    More New Yorkers were also willing to pay extra to get their items faster.

    “It’s now cheaper and easier to order anything online than it is to go to the store,” said Sarah Kaufman, associate director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University, who worked on the study.

    C’est la faute aux consommateurs, on vous dit ! Ils ont inventé le truc, fait la pub, demandé des sub aux pouvoirs publics !

    New York has sought to shift more truck deliveries to nights and weekends, when streets are emptier. About 500 companies, including pharmacies and grocery stores, deliver goods from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., under a voluntary city program.

    On s’en fout, de leur qualité de vie, c’est des ouvriers.

    “We’ve entered an entirely new way of buying goods and services, but our infrastructure is only adapting incrementally,” Ms. Kaufman said. “We need to completely rethink how we use our streets if we want to maintain our current shopping and delivery habits.”

    Et arrêter cette merde, non ?

    La logistique, c’est le gros secteur d’emploi masculin. Un copain cycliste m’a expliqué que 15 % du trafic en ville (si j’ai bonne mémoire) était dû désormais à des livraisons (un camion pour deux colis, beaucoup sont à vide parce que ce n’est pas optimisé mais just in time)... et que les gens qui se font livrer des trucs sur Amazon sont en grande partie des gentil·les cyclistes-usager·es des transports en commun de bonne volonté écologique !

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    #matérialité_du_web #logistique

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