It seemed like a no-brainer: Trucks in Manhattan could save money and time if they delivered their goods at night. But it took a one-month pilot program and thousands of dollars in incentives to get companies to change their habits.
Now that the program is over and the results show savings for companies making and receiving deliveries, some of those businesses are continuing their newfound ways. Transportation officials hope their enthusiasm will encourage other businesses to follow suit.
The city’s Department of Transportation said each truck in a pilot program that operated between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. saved about $1,000 in parking fines alone, and saw its average delivery route time drop by 48 minutes. About eight delivery companies participated. Small companies were paid $300 per participating truck and large trucking companies received a single grant of $3,000 to compensate them for having to make changes in their delivery schedule.
The pilot program, billed by transportation officials as the first of its kind to study off-peak deliveries, and funded in part with $1.2 million in federal money, ended in January. Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the city would not pursue a ban of daytime deliveries into Manhattan but might change its policies to make certain curbside deliveries off-limits until the evening.
“We’re trying to make it more efficient for people to do business in the City of New York,” Ms. Sadik-Khan said.
Twenty-five businesses agreed to receive goods at night, among them Whole Foods, Foot Locker and a handful of restaurants. Those businesses each received $2,000 to help cover overtime and other costs.