Analysis
13 Dec 19

EV fleet pilots alternative solutions to last mile deliveries

Delivery fleets need to think beyond zero emission vehicles to create clean, green, sustainable solutions, according to one of London’s most successful logistics companies.

Sam Clarke, founder and head of business development, Gnewt (pictured below), said: “We want to change the way we think about moving goods around our cities. We are keen to understand how multi‐modal deliveries can benefit our business, our customers, and – by promoting active travel and the associated health and environmental benefits of walking and cycling – our employees too.”

Sam Clarke from Gnewt will be speaking at the Connected Fleets Conference in Brussels, 28 and 29 January 2020.

Gnewt runs Britain’s largest delivery fleet of electric light commercial vehicles, with 120 vans, supported by huge smart recharging and vehicle-to-grid charging infrastructures at its depots.

But the company is also trialling innovative ideas to reduce the frequency of its journeys, and thereby cutting both its energy demand and its impact on congestion.

The outsourced postroom

One of these concepts is the offer of an ‘outsourced postroom’ service to businesses and blocks of residential apartments. All deliveries to these addresses are redirected to Gnewt’s depot, which receives, sorts and consolidates them for delivery the following day by one of its electric vans.

Adam Smith, commercial director of Menzies Distribution which owns Gnewt, said: “We consolidate all of the deliveries on behalf of businesses or blocks of flats and then one vehicle goes in once per day, rather than 10, 12 or however many vehicles it might be clogging up the roads and causing congestion.”

Parcel consolidation aims to combat the same problems addressed by the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has been urging internet shoppers to stop ordering their purchases to be delivered to their workplaces, in order to reduce city centre congestion and pollution. The Greater London Authority, which governs London, has encouraged its own staff to stop having personal deliveries sent to its offices, and instead promotes the use of alternatives such as‘click and collect’services and secure Amazon lockers.

Pedestrian porterage

Gnewt is also pioneering ‘pedestrian porterage’ (pictured top), which sees vans carry parcels to gangs of porters who then deliver on foot. This massively cuts the time that vehicles spend at the roadside, where difficult kerbside parking can lead to them blocking traffic. It also potentially reduces the number of vehicles required and allows vehicles to make more frequent trips back to the depot, speeding up the order-to-delivery time for customers.

Modelling by the FCT2050 (Freight Traffic Control) project predicted that portering parcels in one area of central London could cut CO2 emissions by 45%, lower NOx emissions by 33%, reduce driving distance by 78% and axe the amount of time spent stationary at the kerbside by 45%.

 

Authored by: Jonathan Manning