New York City unveils plan to make last-mile freight delivery safe, sustainable, and efficient

Jackie Wei Green Jackie Wei Green Senior Communications Leader,Los Angeles
18 May 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) released Delivering New York – A Smart Truck Management Plan For New York City, a plan to make the City’s freight systems best-in-class in operations and sustainability ensuring that they remain robust and resilient for years to come.
Arup led the development of Delivering New York working in close collaboration with the City of New York and supported by HDR. 


Trucks carry over 90% of the goods delivered in New York City, making freight mobility a central pillar of city supply chains. The critical importance of freight distribution and essential roles of all professions involved in shipping has been underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of New Yorkers were left confined to their homes reliant on delivery trucks to access critical goods.

Delivering New York provides a blueprint for enhanced freight management with the goal of advancing New York’s economic vitality and quality of life. The report includes 32 specific initiatives to improve efficiency, foster safety, enhance equity and promote the responsible movement of goods. These initiatives include new strategies such as introducing cargo-cycle deliveries and consolidating packages to a single location in a neighborhood with limited person-to-person contact. The plan also calls for expanding successful existing programs such as the NYC Clean Truck Program to reduce emissions, off-hour delivery, and safety workshops for cyclists and pedestrians.

“Arup and the City of New York worked together to develop a plan that addresses the pressing needs of logistics and deliveries in New York City. The plan provides a more functional, equitable, and sustainable approach for truck management in the city. It will help keep our streets safely moving while allowing us to receive the deliveries we rely upon to keep the economy running. This work is ever more pressing as we increasingly rely on deliveries in our daily lives,” said Trent Lethco, Arup principal and Americas planning business leader.

“When the demand for goods increases while the space available to transport them becomes constrained, it can compromise mobility and limit access in ways that have real effects on people’s lives. The goal of the Smart Truck Management Plan is to safeguard the movement of freight in a city encountering such conditions. We are proud to have worked with the NYC DOT to develop a plan to future-proof New York’s freight systems and facilitate more sustainable and economical outcomes for all project stakeholders,” said Rosanna Collars, Arup senior planner.

"Timely and dependable deliveries have become an expected part of our daily lives, and smarter management of freight movement is needed to make that happen. The long-term health of New York City depends on finding safe and accessible space for trucks to make their growing number of deliveries. Putting together a plan for NYC DOT to accommodate this demand for the movement of goods was a great opportunity to improve quality of life in the city for decades to come," said Joe Dack, HDR Project Manager.

The development of the plan emphasized engagement with community members and public and private sector stakeholders. Arup led a team of consultants that included HDR, Cambridge Systematics, Traffic DataBank and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in performing extensive data collection and analysis. The team’s insights were then synthesized into a cohesive vision, supported by detailed goals and objectives.

These strategies will reform and enhance existing programs and policies, develop new and innovative approaches to improving freight management, and support NYC DOT’s Strategic Plan and City’s OneNYC goals.