Budapest FUA's dissemination event on SULPITER

Budapest FUA’s dissemination event on 5th March 2019 at TUD18 Training Coordination Office presented the main achievements of a 3-year-long journey with Project SULPiTER

Urban development can happen either per se, without much orchestration by the public sector, or, through a deliberate process with constant planning for the long term by policy makers: city logistics is no exception. This was the take home message of Budapest FUA’s dissemination event held by Municipality of 18th District of Budapest and Municipality of Vecsés, at Municipality 18’s recently finished Training Coordination Office.

The SULP as an urban development plan has been quite unpopular so far because cities usually do not perceive logistics as their own problem, only those where there is a historical, geographical determinant to introduce it, like a historical old town for example so cities have to be strongly committed towards urban logistics planning in order to succeed – yet, they will, but only in the long run. Mr. András Ekés, CEO of Mobilissimus Ltd., developer of Budapest FUA’s freshly made SULP proposal gave an inspiring talk about perspectives and challenges in city logistics planning, both from an international and from a local perspective.

The brand new SULP proposal could give a new impetus for Budapest’s city management to create a masterplan for the capital’s freight traffic regulation and development. Budapest’s SUMP (the so-called ‘Balázs Mór Plan’) is still in a social consultation phase, yet, with low social visibility and the city’s freight traffic strategy is outdated, excluding current digitalisation trends. The Hungarian partners hope that the SULP document created within the framework of project SULPiTER could be an essential document which could serve as a basis for a logistics plan officially approved by Budapest City Council.

The document itself deals with logistics problems Budapest is facing at the moment such as low norm obedience rates, low amount of environmentally friendly vehicles and the scarcity of concentrated loading bays in the city. The plan defines four major strategic goals, several operative goals and a handful of actions necessary to reach these goals. The strategic goals are as follows:

  1. Introducing new regulations into the logistics and freight transport system, and reviewing existing regulations,
  2. Efficient management of urban freight transport,
  3. Infrastructure-side support for logistics, freight transport and loading processes,
  4. Incentivising the use of environmentally-friendly technologies and vehicles.

The proposed plan favours the concept of sharing and the introduction of positive incentives instead of mere sanctioning. The former could be reached by supporting consolidation activities and through more efficient management of demands and supplies, an area where new IT solutions could play a major role. The latter could be best described by a proposed, so-called “Qualified Budapest Freight Transporter System” which would give benefits and competitive advantage – such as exclusive, bookable loading bays – to those logistics companies who join and comply, e.g. use environmentally friendly delivery methods.

The document cites many international examples and best practices as well in order to help policy makers choosing the right actions to implement. It is important to note, though, that the majority of these pilot actions were supported by funds or there was a strong need to introduce them. In order to achieve long-term results, one has to pay the price difference since environmentally friendly solutions cost more in general, or, the new system has to be introduced generally, being compulsory for every actor.

The necessity and the added value of this freshly made logistics plan is even more underlined by the fact that Budapest’s Liszt Ferenc International Airport has seen an incredible increase in air traffic (both passenger and air cargo) in recent years compared to other airports in Europe which would boost city logistics activities around the airport, as presented by Mr. Gábor Soóki-Tóth, Municipality 18’s external expert in his talk about the development of Budapest Airport Region. From a different point of view, Mr. Péter Práczki, Vecsés Municipality’s project manager pointed out that there is not much time to waste since time is running up, if the EU wants to reduce CO2 concentration by 40% by the end of 2030 in order to stop global warming, we have to act now. Even if SULPiTER project and the recently finished SULP proposal was just a minor step in this process, it was an essential one and we hope that Budapest FUA could capitalise on its results quite soon.