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Please email all questions about submission to freightchallenge@transport.nsw.gov.au. Questions and answers will be published and publicly available on this page.

FAQs

What is Last Mile Freight? 
Last Mile Freight is the movement of goods from a transportation hub to the final delivery destination, usually a consumer's home or a business address. Urban population growth coupled with the rise of E-commerce and new food delivery services is increasing the volume and frequency of Last Mile Freight journeys and in turn adding to congestion in the CBD. 

Why is the challenge being run? 
The Transport Digital Accelerator has identified Last Mile Freight as an area that is ripe for innovation. It holds the potential to reduce congestion in the CBD, enhance the efficiency of the transport grid and supply chains, at the same time improving the customer experience for those receiving goods. As a result Transport for NSW is looking to collaborate with innovators, startups and entrepreneurs who are interested in developing and trialling creative solutions to Last Mile Freight challenges.

What geographical area does the product or service need to cover?
The priority is the Sydney CBD although solutions may be readily applicable to other geographies.

Where can I get more information about Last Mile Freight?
To understand the latest thinking from Transport for NSW around Last Mile Freight you can:

What if I have more than one idea?
You may submit multiple applications. A separate application must be submitted for each idea.

How do I make my solution sustainable?
We want your product to be accessible and good value to the general public. It is up to you to develop a commercial model that will be sustainable. This model will need to be outlined in your application and pitch.

What data can I use to develop my solution?
The use of open data is strongly encouraged. Our TfNSW Open Data Hub has more than 100 datasets available for you to use. Other data sources you may wish to use are www.data.gov.au and data.nsw.gov.au.

I have some more questions, where do I find more information?
If you have any further questions, please take a look on our Developer Forum or Tweet us @DataTfNSW. If you’re interested in the outcome of previous or entering in future innovation challenges, please have a look at the Open Data Hub Innovation Challenges page.

What is the Transport Digital Accelerator?
Transport for NSW are the architects of the first Government Transport accelerator model. The Transport Digital Accelerator facilitates direct collaboration between the public and private sectors, connecting teams from the NSW Transport cluster with industry, researchers, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the digital space. The team brings together design thinking and agile approaches to address complex customer challenges. The aim is to support and fast-track the Future Transport Technology Roadmap series of initiatives designed to practically enhance the way Transport customers interact with services.

What is being offered as part of the challenge? 
Transport for NSW is offering the public an opportunity to collaborate with stakeholders and industry partners to provide Last Mile Freight solutions with a focused on improving the efficiency of these freight movements in the Sydney CBD. 

Benefits for successful Innovation Challenge teams includes options for seed funding, product endorsement from Transport for NSW, access to subject matter experts, data, APIs and significant commercial opportunities that stem from solving a real transport problem.  Work with Transport for NSW to develop world leading solutions and improve the transport system in NSW. 

Details about the benefits of participating in the Innovation Challenge will be provided at the Information Session.

How will the Last Mile Freight Innovation Challenge work? 
A launch event and information session will be held on Wednesday, 8 May 2019 at the Sydney Startup Hub and will be recorded and published on the Open Data webpage. This session is designed for interested parties to ask questions and get information before applications are due.

Applications will open on Wednesday, 8 May 2019 and close on Friday 14 June, 2019 June at 11:59pm.

Potential applicants will have the opportunity to meet key subject matter experts at the information session to help develop their submission. Once applications close, they are assessed and ranked by a screening panel. Teams will be selected to progress to the next stage of the challenge where they will be invited to pitch their ideas to the judging panel as part of the Pitch Day. Successful teams will be invited to submitted a detailed proposal regarding the incubation engagement. Incubated teams may receive funding and support from subject matter experts to bring their solutions into trial phase. Teams who successfully complete the incubation stage will then be assessed for product endorsement. 

Who can participate in the Innovation Challenge?
We welcome all submissions of viable options for Last Mile Freight solutions.  It is expected that teams are incorporated and are able to engage in legal and/or commercial terms with Transport for NSW.

Employees and the immediate families of employees of the Transport for NSW cluster - including Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and NSW Trains - are not eligible to enter the innovation challenge competition.

How old do I have to be to participate? 
You need to be at least 18 or have the written consent of your parent or guardian if you’d like to apply.

What criteria will the judging be based on? 
More information about the judging criteria and format of the challenge will be provided at the information session.  Details will also be published from Wednesday, 8 May 2019 on the official MaaS Innovation Challenge website through which submission will be made.

Generally, Transport for NSW endorsed products are required to meet Endorsement Criteria, including factors such as:

  1. Customer Experience and Usability - is the solution appealing, effortless, intuitive and easy to use?
  2. Market Feasibility - Does the solution demonstrate knowledge of the customer base and will it be widely available?
  3. Innovation - Is the product unique and original, and does it demonstrate tangible technical innovations?
  4. Commercial Sustainability - Can the idea sustain its commercial momentum? Is it likely to be profitable in the long term?
  5. Technical Feasibility - Can the team deliver the solution? Can they demonstrate an understanding of technical inputs to solution development and ensure ongoing technical stability?

Where do I apply?
Applications will be open on the official Last Mile Freight Innovation Challenge website from Wednesday, 8 May 2019.  Please ensure you register and attend the information session or subscribe with your email address to be advised of key events and news about the challenge.

What is the best way to connect and stay up to date?
Announcements via Twitter: @DataTfNSW | #LastMileFreight
Add your email to our contact list: bit.ly/MaaSInterest
Join the developer forum: https://opendata.transport.nsw.gov.au
Technical issues: freightchallenge@transport.nsw.gov.au

What other opportunities are there to engage with Transport for NSW?
Transport for NSW regularly runs Hackathons and Innovation Challenges. For information about when these might be occurring please visit the innovation section of the Open Data Hub.

Questions and Answers from the Community

Is there an opportunity to use the light rail system for freight?

TfNSW is open to the idea of using co-modality (combined passenger and freight vehicles; bus, train, ferry and light rail). However, rather than just providing a concept, submissions should focus on implementation and how it would be achieved. If you are going to re-prioritise the use of a mode from passenger to freight in an already congested city you would have to be able to convince planners that this would be beneficial. 

Are there any regulatory restrictions on using public transport for non-hazardous freight delivery?

Please refer to Part 5, Division 3, section 64 in NSW legislation which can be found here: https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2017/473/part5/div3/sec64

Can I use autonomous drones for delivery?

When TfNSW first commenced the research for this innovation challenge we looked at using drones. We found that there are a number of inhibitive factors including CASA regulation and the practicalities of using a large numbers of drones that would be needed to replace the capacity of a single van. Drones are not generally seen to be feasible within the CBD.

For detailed information please refer to CASA regulation: https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/flying-drones-commercially

Please refer to City of Sydney regulation: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/business/doing-business-with-us/regulations/

As autonomous rooftop drone delivery is not an option can I use driver operated drones to count CBD vehicle deliveries? Or use driver operated drones observing/reserving parking spots / loading zones and navigating couriers to those spots?

Please refer to CASA regulation: https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/flying-drones-commercially

Please refer to City of Sydney regulation: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/business/doing-business-with-us/regulations/

In the TfNSW launch event presentation you stated "we will focus on quick tactical ideas”. What does this mean?

We will prioritise ideas that are carefully planned and that can be delivered during the agreed timeframe over longer-term visions and strategies.

Do you have a breakdown of the size and types of goods that are coming into the Sydney CBD along with their origin?

Typically parcels come from large warehouses approximately 50-60 km West of the CBD along with the domestic and international airports. They include every size and shape of good that you could imagine. This type of data is commercially sensitive and is generally kept private by freight operators. For the purpose of this challenge solutions should focus on relatively small and lightweight parcels that are being delivered by courier vans.

What level of engagement is there from the council for the Last Mile Freight Innovation Challenge?

We work closely with the City of Sydney on freight issues and will be engaging with them on this Innovation Challenge.

Is the geographic area restricted to the City of Sydney or can I look at other council areas?

Feel free to think about your solutions as a boarder application that is suitable for other cities. However, keep in mind that the Sydney CBD is a more mature model and other areas will likely follow the lead of the Sydney CBD, so it would be suggested to focus on the more mature environment. Cities are focusing on placemaking and visualising a world with less cars and loading zones.  

If you are looking to work with a local council it would be valuable to have their support prior to submitting your idea.

Can I use or get access to ticketing technology such as parking ticket machines in the City of Sydney for trials?

You would have to contact the ticketing operations team at the City of Sydney to discuss any kind of integration or trial.

Is the challenge open to companies who provide vehicles such as cargo bikes or is it just digital products will be considered?

It is certainly not just digital products, but we are looking for complete solutions. For example a new class of vehicle may not in itself be a complete solution, it might be worthwhile looking at how the vehicle would fit into a broader operating model. 

How much seed funding will be available for participants?

An assessment will be made on a case by case basis looking at the investment and what benefits it will deliver. The greater the request the more scrutiny and due diligence will be performed. 

Does Transport for NSW take equity in exchange for seed funding?

No. Seed funding should be seen as similar to a grant. We are looking to kick-start businesses to create and pilot solutions that will become commercially sustainable in their own right. 

Is there a number one problem that you have identified as contributing the most to congestion in the CBD?

There is not a single silver bullet problem and solution. Some of the key areas that have been identified include:

- If overstaying in loading zones was wiped out it would free up between 20-25% more capacity.  

- If we were able to move freight off the street level altogether it would be highly beneficial.

Research from the Transport Digital Accelerator has shown that customers have an increasing expectation of immediacy when it comes to deliveries. Solutions should primarily focus on how the ‘freight machine’ responds to this shift in consumer behaviour.

To learn more about the problem spaces identified by the Transport Digital Accelerator please refer to the presentation from the Innovation Challenge Launch event that can be downloaded here: Last Mile Freight Information Session, May 8, 2019

If there is a known peak time for deliveries, why do regulators not try to spread the demand so the capacity of roads and parking spaces can more easily handle congestion? 

It has to be expected that customers will want to receive deliveries at a time that suits them and for delivery operators to respond in turn. 

Changing or increasing regulation is a last resort. Solutions could focus on creating incentives that create viable alternatives to the current way of operating.

Are you planning on putting more traffic cameras into the CBD so we can improve visual analytics?

Selected cameras have been or are being upgraded. There is no plan to increase the number of traffic cameras at this stage.

Will I be able to integrate with Opal for freight delivery and payment?

There are no plans to open up Opal payment integrations of any kind.

Can we bypass Opal and utilizes our own freight tracking to acknowledge train/tram usage for Retailer Charging?

Opal and Contactless are typically used to pay for the train or tram service. However, free feel to suggest an innovative solution to get through the gates.

If we can't integrate with Opal and we can't bypass them, can Retailers purchase a monthly Opal card to cover all freight trips for the month in question?

TfNSW does not offer any time-limited Opal Card fares. To learn more about the Opal fare structure please refer to the Opal fares and payments page: https://transportnsw.info/tickets-opal/opal/fares-payments

What is the B2B/B2C split of delivery orders coming to the CBD?
 
Discussions with various courier companies combined with TfNSW research points to the split of orders being about 70% B2B and 30% B2C. Of course B2C has been growing rapidly in recent years and is this growth is expected to continue.

Do couriers differentiate and send in different vans for B2C and B2B?

Generally they do not. Some couriers are more specialised in one of these areas but generally they do both. Often the different types of orders are indistinguishable unless you are analysing who has sent them.

Couriers will typically seek to consolidate all items going to one location onto one truck. If you are delivering B2B orders to 477 Pitt St then it also makes sense to take B2C orders on the same truck.

Futile deliveries for B2C are recognised as a big problem in suburban deliveries. Is this the same for the CBD?

Our assessments tell us there are less futile deliveries in the CBD as a result of no one being present to accept the delivery. The number of people living in the CBD however is growing rapidly. City of Sydney forecast a growth of an average 2440 dwellings to reach 171,147 by 2041 [https://forecast.id.com.au/sydney/residential-development] it is reasonable to assume there will be a lot more deliveries to residents in City of Sydney in the decades to come.

Do all vehicles park on the street to make deliveries?

We encourage vehicles to use loading docks and off street facilities when possible.  Particularly during the morning peak it can be very difficult to find a loading zone close to where deliveries are to be made.

Loading docks are developed as part of buildings and specifically purposed for servicing the building they are attached to. Developers are obliged to develop loading docks to service their building.

Can the City of Sydney create more curb side loading zones?

This is unlikely that a significant capacity increase will be realised. When the opportunity arises small amounts of capacity are added (either a new loading zone or extending times). Over the last 4 years we have pursued all opportunities possible to add further capacity.

How do loading zones work and who can use loading zones?

In Sydney CBD drivers of specific vehicles can go to a ticket machine and be issued a free ticket to use the loading zone. This happens about 3 million times per year. Road rules 179 and 179-1 determine who can use a loading zone. Essentially it is vehicles “designed for the conveyance of goods”.  The following data visualisation illustrates loading zone use.  This is a proxy for on street freight and servicing activity.  We don’t capture movement into private loading docks. https://public.tableau.com/profile/cbdtf#!/vizhome/SydneyCBDLoadingZones/Readme

When do most deliveries occur?

If you look at the data visualisation (link above) you will see loading zone use peaks from 9:00am to midday. This is when customers want their deliveries (during business hours). Quite often the supplier may have committed to making the delivery by “next day –am”. Courier businesses want to get their deliveries made in the morning so they can then collect the next days’ orders in the afternoon. Of course items such as milk for your coffee or bagels for your breakfast are being delivered in the early hours of the morning.

Who is making the deliveries?

Deliveries are generally made by commercial operators that spend their time undertaking revenue generating activities. The delivery people may be the people who sell/supply the goods but far more common they are employed by or contracted to a logistics company delivering on behalf of many different suppliers.

Is there a word limit to any of the fields in the submission criteria?

No.

In the case of secure lockers on TfNSW properties such as train stations what level of security / user authentication do you require? i.e do we need to consider potential for terrorist threat?

  • Sydney Trains have been conducting a trial of lockers at (4) train stations with a commercial operator.  There are service expectations that should a security risk be raised, that the operator could clear out these lockers within a limited period of time.
  • Security around lockers is always asked as a concern, industry locker providers identify that lockers are quite secure and pose little risk. They are designed to contain a blast of a certain level.
  • Any process around lockers in stations would need to fundamentally demonstrate security has been considered and can be controlled
  • Anyone accessing a B2C locker NOW must have a code that permits them to do this. This works currently for an identified customer to collect THEIR parcel. In that way the collector is identifiable. Introduce a 3rd party to the process and you may need to think about extra steps for security validation.
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