Movement of goods

A busy living city

Movement of goods

Freight and servicing includes the delivery of goods (freight) and the provision of business/trade related activities (servicing) to support businesses and individuals.

The Sydney city centre plays an important economic role, generating $70 billion in revenue for the State each year as well as being Sydney’s premier shopping district, cultural hub and tourist centre. A reliable and efficient supply of goods and services to businesses and residents in the Sydney city is vital to support these activities.

There is an additional challenge to meet these supply and servicing demands during the major construction of the CBD and South East Light Rail (CSELR), other major commercial and residential developments, and, into the future, construction of the Sydney Metro.

With goods and servicing operators often competing in peak times to utilise the Sydney city centre transport network and kerbside space, this needs to be carefully managed to ensure the city’s place making objectives of considering people and amenity are met.

One of the ways this can be achieved is by increasing the focus on improving the efficiency of last mile parcel deliveries within the city centre. Demand for small parcel deliveries in the Sydney city centre is high, and customer’s delivery expectations often overlap with the morning and evening peaks, contributing to congestion. Much of this activity is driven by significant growth in online commerce and the promise of quick delivery times by online retailers. A number of case studies have been completed to learn more about freight in the Sydney city centre to influence change for great efficiency and less impact over the next few years.

Peak freight demands can be managed by improving communications about disruption to facilitate discussions between stakeholders to find solutions and consider new approaches for freight activity.

We are working with businesses and delivery companies to trial deliveries outside of peak periods and using courier hubs on the fringe of the city centre to reduce vehicle congestion and make it easier for delivery on foot and bike.

A number of case studies have been completed to learn more about freight in the city centre and to influence change over the next few years.

Building delivery profiles and loading dock provisions

Over the past 18 months, we have assessed the profiles of a selection of buildings and operations in the city centre. The assessment considered the use of small and large docks within buildings, how they are being used, and how they could be used more efficiently.

Key observations include:

  • Many buildings have docks that are underutilised throughout the day. Almost every dock investigated in the Sydney city centre is underutilised, empty or closed from about 3pm through to 6am. Movement of goods outside of peak times could utlise this capacity.
  • Shared dock spaces could be implemented in the Sydney city centre, as seen in other cities such as Tokyo. , If shared dock spaces are designed and managed effectively, they could prove a successful solution for freight servicing in the Sydney city centre. This could be achieved by identifying shared neighbourhood dock space during the design and/or development assessment stages of new buildings and transport infrastructure By taking this approach this may reduce the overall space required for loading docks than if it were provided in multiple smaller individual docks.
  • There are many cases where a building may have a dock, but its design and functionality reduces the propensity for delivery drivers to use it.
  • Inadequate docks contribute to an increased reliance on kerbside space, which causes localised on-street congestion.
  • Dock space is undervalued in new buildings and often not seen as being critical to business operations when developments are in design phase. Conversely, the dock space provided at Barangaroo greatly contributes to the amenity of the precinct above it.
  • Currently, the most popular periods for freight movements in the Sydney city centre are weekdays from 9am-12pm. Spreading this demand will be important to the efficiency and effectiveness of the transport network.
  • Management of kerbside use throughout the Sydney city centre to improve turnover and utilisation of on street loading.
  • Influencing development applications process to ensure new building’s meet their needs for deliveries and servicing off street.

We will continue to work with stakeholders and businesses to:

  • Support them in assessment of freight and servicing needs and appropriate infrastructure planning
  • Monitor and manage kerbside activity
  • Keep them informed of changes that could impact their efficiency.


Waste management in the city centre

Waste management includes the removal of general and specialised waste (such as used oil, confidential documents) from residential, retail and commercial premises across the Sydney city centre. The City of Sydney operates a fleet of trucks to collect residential waste and sets the policy framework within which commercial waste collection companies must operate.

As the city grows, the management of waste becomes a larger and more complex task. The efficient and discreet removal of waste is critical to:

  • minimise the impact on The Sydney city centre road network

  • support businesses in the city centre

  • protect the amenity of public spaces.


We will work with property owners, businesses, local government and waste service providers to collect waste in the Sydney city centre more efficiently.

Case study: Sydney courier hub

We undertook a trial for the past two years using a courier hub on Goulburn Street Parking Station for couriers to place and collect small parcels for delivery throughout the city. Due to the great success and positive feedback from operators, the trial has been extended for another year until January 2018. There is great opportunity for further trials, such as this one, to continue throughout the city, bring more businesses and companies on board and consequently greatly reduce congestion in the city centre and create more efficient and on-time deliveries.

Read more freight trials and Loading Zone Retiming.


Case study: Sydney courier hub

In 2016 we initiated a trial by establishing a courier hub by repurposing a surplus wash bay in Goulburn Street Parking Station. Vans collecting outside the city can drop goods at this location for last mile delivery in the CBD by walking or bike couriers. Due to the great success and positive feedback from operators, the trial has been extended for the foreseeable future. In 2017-18 the hub is used for approximately 60 courier movements per day with capacity to support much more. This means there are 60 less vans per day travelling into the CBD and seeking parking spots. There is a great opportunity for further trials, such as this one, to continue throughout the city, bring more businesses and companies on board and consequently greatly reduce congestion in the Sydney city centre and create more efficient and on time delivers.

Further information is available about the freight trials.


Case study: My Sydney website

·         Shred it retiming

·         Overnight delivery success

·         Other case studies

By continuing to actively participate and lead trials and studies throughout the Sydney city centre, we can stay on top of new ideas and emerging technologies to better manage and facilitate freight throughout the Sydney city centre.