19 Feb 19

Ford in last mile initiative with Gnewt

Ford has announced that it is trialling a new digital delivery service in partnership with Gnewt by Menzies Distribution, designed to efficiently coordinate multiple modes of transport including pedestrian and – one day – bicycle couriers. The carmaker says that the growth in online shopping across Europe means the number of parcel deliveries is expected to double in the next ten years. Most of these deliveries are currently undertaken by vans, leading to escalating congestion in many cities with average journey times in London having risen by more than 40 per cent in just three years. As a result, says Ford, carriers are under increasing pressure to deliver more parcels, more quickly, with less cost, while continuing to ensure employee welfare and environmental responsibility.


During the trial, Gnewt’s ‘last‑mile’ delivery service will be driven by Ford’s cloud‑based, multi‑modal routing and logistics software MoDe:Link. This manages all aspects of parcel delivery from depot to doorstep. This could help couriers, fleet managers, logistics and food delivery companies optimise processes and increase van utilisation, saving time and money while boosting capacity, Ford goes on to say in its press release.

The service could also reduce costs, speeding time from order to delivery by enabling vans to make more frequent round trips back to the depot. In addition, it could contribute to healthier streets and reduced traffic in major cities, cutting congestion around valuable kerb space where vans typically load and unload.

“Our goal is to keep larger vehicles like delivery vans operating in the high‑load, less‑congested environments in which they perform best,” said Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility. “However, for the last mile of a journey into an urban area, where congestion and lack of parking can be a challenge, it makes sense to offload deliveries to more nimble, efficient and cost‑effective modes of transport.”

(Image: Ford)

Authored by: Tim Harrup