Smart loading zones to relieve traffic in Hamburg

New SmaLa pilot project launched in run-up ITS World Congress
15 October 2021

The City of Hamburg has launched a new pilot project called "Smart Delivery and Loading Zones (SmaLa)" to cope with ever more inner-city delivery traffic caused by booming online sales, a press release said Wednesday (October 6, 2021). Parcel delivery services, couriers and suppliers can now pre-book a slot in four delivery zones with eight parking spaces in Hamburg Mitte on a mobile phone app. Reservations can also be done on the move. Signs and illuminated dots will indicate reserved parking spaces.

More environment-friendlier delivery traffic

"Smart delivery and loading zones are important for making growing delivery traffic environment-friendlier," said Andreas Rieckhof, State Councillor for Economics "Hamburg is a national pioneer here and is showing how the clever use of digitalization can create real and visible added value for the city and its residents." The goal is to reduce the competition for space and optimise traffic, he added. Hopes are now high that traffic can become environment-friendlier and less congested by delivery vehicles parked in second rows and road blocks.

"SmaLa" ITS anchor project

The "SmaLa" project is exempt from the ban on reserving parking spaces under the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO). Practical tests of the digitally reservable delivery and loading zones will be done in two phases through late 2023. Depending on the potential for development determined in the first phase, the pilot project will increase to up to 25 "SmaLas" in the second phase. The plans foresee tests of diverse equipment for the delivery zones e.g., lowerable bollards. If the test operations prove successful, Hamburg will lobby Germany's upper House of Parliament or Bundesrat to amend the StVO.  The "SmaLa" project is funded by the German government and is one of 42 anchor ITS projects at the congress in Hamburg from October 11-15, 2021.