The success of online shopping has forever changed the way consumers engage with the brands and retailers that they know and trust.
Distribution companies have played a crucial role in that success and with it, changed customer expectations for how goods reach them. Super-fast delivery has long been the cornerstone of a good online retail experience, but now in 2019 we are seeing a clear shift in demand for greener alternatives. Here, we’ll break down why this is so important, and what we’re doing to help.
The growing demand for sustainable delivery
Although the growth of the home delivery sector shows no signs of slowing down, there is a growing challenge for distributors to adopt cleaner and more environmentally friendly forms of transport. A decade ago a typical green delivery option was a premium service only, a nice-to-have that was always more expensive than a standard service offering. By far, most customers wanted goods as fast as possible and as cheaply as possible, no matter the carbon footprint it left behind. That has now changed and a company’s green credentials are a key differentiator in the market and socially responsible delivery is far more important than it has ever been.
For small and medium-sized businesses, offering a cost-effective yet greener delivery option is a critical decision and can be a key differentiator. Thanks to key innovators and a drive from within the sector to lessen the impact of delivery, it is also now much more cost-effective than it has ever been.
London is taking action
In response to growing concerns over air pollution, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has rolled out the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). Poor air quality is thought to be linked to some 40,000 deaths each year and the stricter regulations brought in target the older vehicles and the worst emitters of greenhouse gases. Unlike the existing Congestion Charge, the ULEZ is set at £12.50 per day for cars, motorbikes and vans, and £100 for lorries, and will be active 24 hours a day. Coupled with a move to ban diesel car sales by 2040, London has shown just how seriously we all should take the issue of cleaner air.
Our commitment to sustainability
As a leading provider of environmentally friendly same day delivery, CitySprint understands only too well the responsibility the transport and logistics sector must take to implement cleaner forms of delivery and cut greenhouse gas emissions. CitySprint is perhaps best known for its development and investment in its zero-emission, green fleet, alongside it’s award-winning carbon offsetting scheme. We already have the largest fleet of bicycle couriers in the capital and we’re constantly developing new and better ways to deliver goods in environmentally friendly ways- including the expansion of our cargo bike fleet
New technology is helping us re-shape the sector and we have been working closely with industry partners to create and adopt the latest advancements. In January, we trialled the use of hydrogen vans, the first of its kind for logistics in the UK. Working with our client, Mitie, and developed in partnership with Renault, the van is powered by a battery and hydrogen fuel cell, allowing for travel of up to 200 miles (almost double an electric van). The project was a great success - covering 5,000 miles which equated to 2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and 90 trees saved from absorbing pollution.
CitySprint leads the way in offering alternative transport options and we are proud to be playing a key role by offering a greener courier service to reduce our ecological impact and overall carbon footprint. We utilise our bicycle courier fleet in London; we use electrically assisted cargo bikes to move larger loads; as well as both electric vans and a new hydrogen van. We aggregate deliveries using smart technology that’s been developed using 10+ years of real industry data and are working with Transport for London (TfL) and local communities to understand how hubs like cargo bike parking can further promote zero-emission transport.
A typical, sustainable delivery
A typical CitySprint delivery might now well be made by bicycle rather than the traditional van. Each cargo bike we use saves around four tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and 100% of our service centres are now powered by renewable energy. We also use technology to full effect. Our intelligent scheduling reduces unnecessary journeys and boosts overall efficiency. It is leading the way in offering a fully optimised logistics function and driving down costs.
The bottom line
Our vision is to offer customers the best green delivery service. We work hard to ensure we utilise the best vehicle for the job and our work cuts dead mileage and ultimately the amount of CO2 produced. Most importantly, our customers are seeing faster delivery times- on average, our cargo bikes deliver 50% faster than a small van.
The future of urban delivery is most certainly a continued shift towards cleaner modes, which in London we see will quickly become the norm. For same day delivery, we definitely see this becoming a standard service. If you want to offer your customers a greener delivery experience, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.