Research Project

Select Study of Urban Freight in Delhi

Nomesh B Bolia, Geetam Tiwari, Nilanjana De Bakshi and Jose Holguin Veras

Project Details


1) To characterise the demand for freight transport in Delhi by developing travel demand models to estimate the freight trips.

2) Analyse the impact of delivery restrictions that are imposed and comprehend the effectiveness of such policy measures.


Characterisation Study

  • Establishment surveys : To analyse the Freight Trip Generation
  •  A survey of 2100 establishments is planned to carried out.
    • Survey of 360 establishments from 15 markets done
    • Data collection in process for the remaining 1800 establishments
    • 38 Markets, 62 commercial streets and mixed use streets
    • Also trying to include  LTA such as Hotels, industrial areas, warehouses, hospitals, hotels and inland container depot at Delhi.
    • Cordon counts and O-D surveys: all major (18) entry points of Delhi
  • Establishment Survey : Information collected on
    • Goods delivered and attracted
    • Modes used and ownership of vehicles
    • Service trips
    • Parking, Loading, Unloading availability and access distance to the road
      • Loading, Unloading almost nowhere except malls
    • Warehouse availability
    • Trip details (frequency, distance travelled, mode choice, etc)
    • Employment
    • Supply chain process and management including ordering and receiving goods
    • Impact of delivery restrictions
    • OHD: current status and willingness
  • Cordon counts and O-D surveys
  • Massive(Why write massive? Facts should be stated not adjectives) numbers of commercial vehicles entering and leaving Delhi: 
    • About 38,588 commercial vehicles (excluding taxis) enter Delhi only from nine locations. (this is entry numbers only)
    • Total of 52,146 (CSE Truck study 2015) if extrapolated to all 127 total entry points
    • Master Plan of Delhi: about 30 % of the traffic entering Delhi is destined for Delhi.
  • Survey ongoing to obtain numbers to estimate the through freight traffic
    • 7 Day cordon counts and O-D surveys at all 18 Major entry/exit points to Delhi
    • Includes info on Commodity Type, Trip Length, Time of entry, Mode
  • Procedures at IIT, outside
    • Finding a good agency within allocated budget
    • Procedural lacunae (L1, not-so-good experience with unprofessional players, exclude them from the process), delays (not with cordon survey, but with establishment survey)
    • Better response for field staff
    • Lack of willingness to share information
    • Training (build rapport, letter from IIT, convey this is not government survey, benefits for them)
  • Carrier, Receiver interactions ongoing with establishment
  • Interviews of public officials: Transport Dept, Police
    • Challenge: Difficult to get appointment, not very responsive
    • Transport Dept by-and-large clueless, Police had some confidence (they are the ones responsible)
    • Our findings
      • No recorded exact reason for delivery restrictions( official reason stated is to reduce congestion during the day)
      • Public Sector Response: (perceived) risk of accidents, congestion, pollution.
      • No studies commissioned by the govt to evaluate this policy
      • Analysis of media: Reasons for imposing restrictions often are supreme court rulings in response to PILs, or police response to public outcry
    • Propose to collect GPS data for trucks to evaluate policy: change in accidents, other externalities – pollution, vehicle miles travelled, fuel consumption
      • Talks with truckers on-going for their buy-in
      • Approaching through the contact developed at the initial workshop

Preliminary Findings: Establishment Survey

  • Complex, Unstructured
  • Wholesale areas unplanned, not accessible by large carriers(All wholesale areas are not unplanned, wholesale vegetable matket etc)
  • Parking on the road is the only way goods are delivered
  • Motorcyles  often preferred for last leg of delivery
  • Complicated dynamics: In Chandni Chowk, for example, multiple layers of supply chain at every establishment; owner doesn’t know the destination of goods..
  • NMTs big chunk (how much??)of mode, particularly in big markets

Trip Profile

  • Majority trips within 10 km
  • 65 % of trip attractions within 5 kms retail, 8 % wholesale, 4% Food and accommodation
  • Within the 5-10 km category 71% of the trips are retail trips and 11% are wholesale and 9% are food and accommodation sector.


  • Analysis of establishment survey data
    • Regression models, Estimation of total number of trips, Mode Choice models, OHD Choice models
    • Specific context: NMT/Motorcycle focused models
    • Evaluate Delivery Restrictions
    • Summarize and publish findings
    • Impact on accidents, pollution, congestion
    • Dissemination
    • Publications, including research main stream media articles
    • Advocacy: Workshops or individual representations for delivery restrictions



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