The Olympic Global Village
Written by: Imogen Reed
Will the streets of London be paved with gold this summer? Certainly there will be plenty of gold medals being handed out during the Olympics. However, will the hospitality industry be able to reap the benefits of the huge increase in tourism during the Games? With an estimated four million tourists visiting for the Olympics this really should be a lucrative time for hospitality businesses. Research has estimated that the Olympics should benefit the economy by the tune of £750 million with the hospitality, catering and retail sectors set to see the greatest increase in demand.
The challenge for hospitality businesses is to meet the increase in demand despite the pressures that are going to be put on the Capital’s infrastructure. The key is to ensure business continuity. During the Games the Olympic Route Network (ORN) is being put into place on core routes from central London to the Olympic Park in Stratford, venue routes, training routes and an alternative backup ORN. There is also a Paralympic Route Network (PRN) for the duration of the Paralympics. The aim of the ORN is to allow traffic to run smoothly. However the ORN routes will contain a number of temporary restrictions such as banned turnings, suspension of parking and special “Games Lanes”. Businesses on the ORN will also be subject to time restrictions on deliveries.
So what steps should hospitality businesses NOW be taking to get ready?
Plan ahead – make sure that you are completely aware of how the changes in the road network (ORN) will affect you and your business. A very useful website is the London 2012 Travel Advice for Business website which will be constantly updated with travel information. If necessary, reroute the deliveries to avoid areas affected by the Games. Consider also joining up to a TFL transport for business workshops which are being specifically run to help prepare businesses for the Olympics. Most importantly have a plan!
Talk to your Suppliers - let them know your expected needs and how they differ from your normal requirements. Also understand any changes that they are planning on making during the Games so that there are no nasty surprises. Make sure they have back up plans in place and are covered for all eventualities. For example ensure that all trucks being used are fully serviced and that they are covered by full fleet insurance.
Pre plan and reduce deliveries – arrange for all non-perishable provisions to be supplied before the Games so that the number of actual deliveries required during the Games can be reduced. Talk to neighbouring businesses so that some deliveries may be combined. Find out if there are any local storage areas so that extra supplies can be stockpiled nearby prior to the beginning of the Games;
Rearrange deliveries to different times - The ORN will limit deliveries to night time deliveries. The London Lorry Control Scheme however limits deliveries that can be made at night in order to protect London residents from noise pollution in normal times. During the Olympic period there will be no blanket exemption or lifting of these provisions. However London Councils have agreed that during the Games there will be a level of flexibility. Individual businesses must therefore apply to the London Councils who will be happy to consider special routing requests. If night time deliveries are arranged have you got sufficient staff to cover? Consider using security staff in a different role?
Revise the type of deliveries – If you normally receive your goods in a large HGV would it be possible to talk to your suppliers and get them to deliver in smaller vans instead? Perhaps it may be possible to deliver to a central location from where you can then pick your stock up. If you normally deliver goods to customers could you persuade your customers to come to you, maybe on foot?
Do preventative maintenance and service equipment - to safeguard against any unexpected interruptions. A broken refrigerator in the middle of the Games period could be a disaster! Make sure you have contingency plans in place with respect to fundamental equipment. Talk to your service providers and if necessary pay the extra for a three hour as opposed to a longer call out time in emergencies.
Meet with your staff - Ensure that your staff have made adequate travel preparations to get to work. If difficulties arise consider walking, cycling, lift share and temporary housing arrangements.
The logistical preparations needed to be ready for the start of the Olympics are not insurmountable. The key is to have a plan and be proactive so that continuity can be maintained. The Olympics in London, is after all, a once in a life time opportunity which should be seized and capitalised on.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany