Impact of freight flows on city logistics in a megacity of a developing economy




The demand for freight transport is an inevitable issue within the context of socio-economic and political relationship of the society. For instance, it enhances city logistics relatively to land use, traffic and delivery characteristics. Of all these salient issues, traffic is considered the most important because it subsumes congestions, especially along major corridors of the city. Similarly, previous studies pointed out ‘on-the-road’ congestion costs. To these cost must be added the loss of efficiency and/or sales at individual and commercial premises when deliveries arrive late. It is in the light of this that this paper investigated the effects of logistical and supply chain trends on the level and nature of demand for freight transport in Lagos. Methodology adopted was inferential statistical techniques and simple descriptive methods. The study identified gaps in the provision of infrastructural capacity and logistics services in the study region. The study further recommended that city logistics should be enhanced so that the city will be economically buoyant, socially vibrant and environmentally friendly.

Freight transport is a very transport part of most economics and social activity. Industries rely on some of goods movement to maintain commerce, which may range from large shipments of bulk commodities to package delivery within and outside Lagos State. Freight transportation plays an important role in the economy of Lagos State, as the demand for goods transport is strongly dependent on the level and nature of economic activities (Oni, 2004). As transportation is part of a production process, it ensures that bits and pieces are assembled through the use of logistics chains, allowing for the delivery of the necessary inputs for production, including the necessary materials and labour, and allows the finished product to be delivered to the market for customers. Suffice it to stress that, the demand for freight transport is an inevitable issue within the context of socio-economics and political relationship of the society. However, the movement of freight is an important but often overlooked aspect of the transportation system. While much research and planning has centered on passenger transport (Somuyiwa, 2009; Ogunsanya, 2004), freight transport analysis  has  received  relatively  little  attention,   conse- quently, has implication on traffic situation that is often considered the most important, because it subsumes congestion, especially along major corridors of the city. Similarly, previous studies have revealed the effects of congestion on logistical efficiency relate to the whole country rather than the city of Lagos. It is interesting to note that some of these studies pointed out on-the-road’ congestion costs.
For instance, various authors, Oyesiku (2002), Adeniji (2002), Auclair (1999), World Bank (2001), Coyle et al. (2000) and UNCHS (1998) asserted that travel speeds in cities are decreasing and the travel environment for pedestrians and people-powered vehicles are deteriorating in development countries, due to the inefficiency of the entire road transport system of the sixteen developing country city with populations of more then 4 million studied, five major cities in this group (Bucharest, Jakarta, Kinshasa, Lagos and Manila) experienced an average one-way journey to work of about one and quarter hours or more.
This urban challenge, that is, road traffic congestion is, however,  expected  to  aggravate  in  the  nearest  future  030          J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.