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Delivering 1 Million Parcels a Day Congests New York Streets

Delivering 1 Million Parcels a Day Congests New York Streets

Tuesday, 29 October, 2019 - 06:45
A Federal Express truck travels down a highway through Carlsbad, California on September 16, 2019. (Reuters)

The efforts to ensure customers' satisfaction have left a significant impact on the streets of New York and many urban regions around the world, such as congestion and growing pollution.

An Amazon order starts with a tap of a finger, and two days later, or even in a matter of hours, the package arrives. It seems simple enough.

But to deliver Amazon orders and countless others from businesses that sell over the internet, the very fabric of major urban areas around the world is being transformed. And New York City, where more than 1.5 million packages are delivered daily, shows the impact that this push for convenience is having on gridlock, roadway safety and pollution, the New York Times reported.

Delivery trucks operated by UPS and FedEx double-park on streets and block bus and bike lanes. They racked up more than 471,000 parking violations last year, a 34 percent increase from 2013.

The main entryway for packages into New York City, leading to the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey, has become the most congested interchange in the country. Trucks heading toward the bridge travel at 23 miles per hour, down from 30 miles per hour, five years ago.

While the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber has unquestionably caused more traffic, the proliferation of trucks has worsened the problem. As a result, cars in the busiest parts of Manhattan now move just above a jogger's pace, about 7 miles per hour, roughly 23 percent slower than at the beginning of the decade.

Neighborhoods like Red Hook, Brooklyn, are being used as logistics hubs to get packages to customers faster than ever. At least two million square feet of warehouse space is being built in New York, including what will be the largest center of its kind in the country. Amazon added two warehouses in the city over the summer.

The immense changes in New York have been driven by tech giants, other private businesses and, increasingly, by independent couriers, often without the city's involvement, oversight or even its awareness.

According to the New York Times, officials are racing to keep track of the numerous warehouses sprouting up, to create more zones for trucks to unload and to encourage some deliveries to be made by boat as the city struggles to cope with a booming online economy.

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