November 2, 2020

New York Hours: Off-Hour Deliveries Save Time and Money

Time is a flat circle: New York’s streets, after a lull during lockdown, are back to being the clogged time-stealers we all know and hate so well. Approximately 97,000 trucks and commercial vehicles cross NYC boundaries each day, 25,000 moving to and from Manhattan. That’s a lot of traffic—most of it during the busiest parts of the day. 

The movement of people and commercial goods are vital to New York, but this movement can get complicated: Idling commercial vehicles contribute to poor air quality and decreased pedestrian safety while also increasing the cost of doing business; and yet, without freight transportation, all those little shops—from cafes to retail boutiques to restaurants—can’t function. 

Seriously: your average New York City coffee shop requires an average of 25 deliveries per week to successfully operate. These deliveries tend to come throughout the day, with waves of small trucks and large sprinter vans clogging up the streets, disturbing the community, double parking in bus lanes, and getting in the way of store operations. Your staff hates nothing more than getting a milk delivery when they have a socially-distanced line of people waiting to order.

There is another way to handle deliveries, though. A way to reduce street congestion, reduce pollution, and reduce community and store disruptions. It’s called the Overnight/Off-hour Delivery initiative, and it’s directed by the New York Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the New York Port Authority to encourage more businesses to accept off-hour deliveries. 

"NYC DOT’s Off-Hour Deliveries (OHD) program encourages businesses in the city to switch their delivery hours to the off-hours (7pm – 6am),” the New York City Department of Transportation said in a statement. “OHD not only helps reduce daytime congestion, but also helps create safer streets with less conflict at the curb. Increased social-distancing is also a big plus. OHD has also proven to be cost-effective for participating transporters and retailers and we work closely with our partners to come up with the right approach to OHD as individual companies have different needs. We are excited to have Odeko onboard as a partner as their OHD practice goes above and beyond with their delivery model."  

Nearly 1500 business locations have enrolled in the OHD program. As a participating company in OHD, Odeko is responsible for over 100 of those adoptions. Since 2019, Odeko has realized that it was more cost-effective to supply everything a coffee shop could need with one delivery made after-hours, when the streets are quieter and there’s no business to disrupt. The average New york City café can go from 25 deliveries down to a handful a week. And like magic, shop managers come in the morning and everything is there waiting for them.

“We found that if we delivered during normal business hours, it would take twice as long to do those deliveries and there was a high amount of variance,” says Peter Chen, COO of Odeko. “It was very hard to predict how many deliveries a driver could drop. With the OHD program, we’e way more efficient and predictable. That results in higher customer satisfaction and a byproduct is higher employee satisfaction. Our drivers feel more in control and don't have the stress of having to navigate through traffic.”

We’ve made a commitment by signing on to OHD—a commitment to reduce daytime congestion, support NYC’s Vision Zero goal of reducing pedestrian injury, and, most importantly, to continue to help our coffee shops and their communities thrive. New York is on the rebound, and we’re happy to do our part.

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