The impacts of relocating a logistics facility on last food miles – The case of Melbourne’s fruit & vegetable wholesale market

The distribution activities of fresh produce by retail and wholesale trade industries generate a large volume of freight movements in urban areas. Recently, the local government in Melbourne, Australia have relocated the fruit & vegetable wholesale market from a centrally located suburb: West Melbourne to Epping, a suburban area on the fringe of Greater Melbourne. This paper investigates the impacts of the market relocation on the freight activities for fruit and vegetable retailers and wholesalers that source fresh produce directly from the wholesale market. This study utilised a telephone questionnaire with retailers to identify their delivery schemes and evaluate the impact of the market relocation on their freight trips. The analysis of the responses indicated that the market relocation has led to a significant increase (31%) in distance travelled (VKT) by retailers compared with the former site in West Melbourne. It is estimated that this additional distance contributes 830 tonnes of CO₂-e per year for all the freight trips by the retailers. Furthermore, nineteen fruit & vegetable wholesalers participated in the semi-structured interviews to evaluate the impacts of the market relocation on their freight activities with respect to additional vehicle-km and explore any changes to their freight trips. It is estimated that wholesalers have to drive on average an additional 14.1 km to distribute the fresh produce to their customers due to the market relocation. Analysis for the wholesalers revealed that the market relocation complicated their ability to sustain their customer base and geographical coverage due to the additional vehicle-km.


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  • Accession Number: 01678025
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 4 2018 2:13PM