Recognizing the importance of the ease of use of urban logistics vehicles, and current challenges that they face relating to parking, this study considers the new energy vehicle (NEV) promotion needs in urban freight sector, examines the potential of having dedicated loading/unloading zones for these vehicles, and focuses on solving problems of parking them in difficult contexts. The study has developed a scientific planning methodology for the development of loading/unloading zones dedicated to the use of new energy logistics vehicles (NELVs), including the selection of their location and the management of their loading/unloading spaces. It uses Chancheng District in Foshan as the research setting to examine the scheme of dedicated loading/unloading zones for NELVs, standardize the parking of urban logistics vehicles, and highlight policies and management strategies relating to NELVs, so as to further improve the convenience of traffic policies relating to urban logistics vehicles, improve the overall efficiency of freight distribution systems, alleviate urban traffic congestion, and promote green low-carbon transportation. The study findings can be used as a reference for other cities in China to promote their own initiatives in the setting of dedicated loading/unloading zones for urban logistics vehicles. The main components of this study are as follows:
1. Case study
This study reviewed national and international examples of urban logistics vehicles parking planning strategies and analyzed the principles, forms and management policies of the setting of temporary loading/unloading zones for urban logistics vehicles in China and abroad.
2. Status analysis
This study analyzes the current situation of existing temporary parking zones for urban logistics vehicles in Chancheng District of Foshan City and the relevant policies related to their use. Following field investigations and analysis of the status of temporary parking zones for urban logistics vehicles in various types of areas in Chancheng District, Foshan City, it was determined that the main existing problems relating to their use are: (1) issues relating to location and management; (2) issues relating to illegal behavior; (3) issues relating to effective planning.
3. Effective methods for planning the setting and use of dedicated zones
This study adapted the concept of the Sustainable Urban Logistics Planning (SULP), and therefore analyzed the setting of dedicated loading/unloading zones for urban logistics vehicles from the core aspects related to this theory, including: (1) scenario analysis, (2) demand estimation, (3) calculation of the number of dedicated loading/unloading zones, (4) location selection of dedicated loading/unloading zones, (5) design of dedicated loading/unloading zones, (6) management measures, and (7) pilot implementation.
4. Suggestions for policies and measures
The study presents executable policies and measures for the relevant departments of freight distribution and stakeholders to further improve the setting, implementation and application of loading/ unloading zones for NELVs. Recommendations made for decision makers mainly consider departmental coordination, planning guidance and public participation, which include strategies such as strengthening departmental coordination, focusing on planning guidance and encouraging public participation.