Parking tickets, moving violations, traffic, losing curbside space, mandated delivery times, these are just a few of the reasons why delivering in New York City is a nightmare. To ease some of these burdens, The City Department of Transportation (DOT) has been encouraging moving deliveries to off-hours (7PM-6AM) for years. DOT created a new website with plans to significantly increase off-hour deliveries moving forward. So, is the off-hour delivery right for you?
- You have clients located in commercial areas.
- You have clients with hours of operation or staff in the off hour time period.
- You are registered as a trusted vendor (this allows unattended deliveries).
- You make deliveries in heavily congested areas.
- You have clients who already receive off-hour deliveries from other shippers.
- You have clients in dense residential neighborhoods.
- You have clients with labor hour restrictions which prevent you from having workers work during the off-hours. There could be issues with non-unionized employees as well.
- You have clients with building leases that prevent off-hour deliveries.
Major target areas are Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Jamaica Queens.
Consider that many large chain stores are typically set up as a vertically integrated supply chain. This could allow great flexibility to shift deliveries to off-hours. Many chains have already done this but the fact that more haven’t led into a potential issue with off-hour deliveries, noise complaints. Noise complaints are some of the most common complaints in New York City to the point that DOT released an entire how-to guide to reduce noise complaints during off-hour deliveries. These can be divided into two categories, common sense and complicated.
- Reduce speed when approaching the delivery area.
- If early for delivery, do not wait within a residential area.
- Turn off the radio when approaching or leaving a residential delivery area and during the delivery.
- Avoid speaking loudly or shouting during the delivery.
- Avoid slamming doors, dropping cargo storage bar, or dragging cargo on surfaces where it will create excessive noise.
- Do not sound your horn (unless necessary for safety)
- Turn off the refrigerator (if possible)
- Buy new pallet jacks. Low-noise tire models enable the pallet truck to drive smoothly and quietly; shock-absorbing material reduces noise caused by vibrations and rattling that occurs when the forks are lowered.
- Buy new forklifts. Low-noise models reduce noise and vibration levels within the body as well as the tires. Electric versions can also reduce noise.
- Truck modifications such as:
- Electrically operated roller shuttle cargo door
- Noise absorbing floor coatings or aluminum floors that are also skid-proof inside the trailer
- Low noise tires, ex. “s-marking” in line with the rolling sound regulation
- Tail-lift that is used to load and unload the truck
- Refrigeration units (TRUs) –quiet units including electric or cryogenics
- Buy new trucks. Electric, hybrid or natural gas.
Though the city is not offering any subsidies (there were federal subsidies a few years ago which spurred this on), the greater availability of traffic lanes and curbside parking should cut down on tickets, which could translate into significant savings (and save you from ticket blitzes which tend to pop up). Evaluate your delivery routes and remember that this is a DOT priority. If this is something that looks feasible contact DOT and let them walk you through it.