With less than 6 months until the implementation of ULEZ, we are all hands-on deck preparing the company for this positive step towards healthier air.
Ten months on from the launch of our hydrogen van, and thousands of zero-emission miles travelled, we were proud to win the Logistics Award for Sustainability/Environment with our client Mitie. Whilst we were thrilled to win the award, the scarcity of hydrogen fuelling stations and high costs of hydrogen vans makes the expansion of this vehicle type challenging. As a country we can take inspiration from Japan as the pioneer of Hydrogen technology. The Japanese are capitalizing on public and private investment into the 2020 Olympics to develop a hydrogen fuelling network for the future.
Nevertheless, we can’t rest on our laurels or glow in the victory of a single award. As the Same Day market leader, we face two opposing factors. The market is moving towards us – customers increasingly demand hyper-fast deliveries of retail, food, and grocery. Simultaneously, increased congestion, upcoming regulation, and limited availability of low-emission commercial vehicles make urban operations challenging. But there is no room for excuses with ULEZ rapidly approaching.
Positively, our cargo bikes are proving extremely successful for Same Day deliveries– clocking delivery times up to 50% faster than small vans! An obvious win for the environment and our customers that receive better service. These e-bikes fulfil over 4,000 jobs monthly in the areas of Central London with the highest density of work. This zone stretches East to West from Canary Wharf to Shepherds Bush and North to South from Camden to Elephant and Castle. Our efforts were vindicated when we heard of the government support for e-cargo bikes and other low-emission vehicles at the recent Zero Emission Vehicle Summit.
Finally, technology and harnessing the power of big data will help us scale these efficiencies across the UK. For example, earlier this year we hosted a team of interns from the University of Southampton. The team applied data science to identify zones for job consolidation and most importantly predict the job profile and job location so supply and demand factors can be optimised. These students were led by Professor Tom Cherrett and provided tangible solutions to the unpredictability of on-demand logistics. Ultimately, the synergies between Zero Emission Vehicles and predictive analytics are helping us prepare for ULEZ. We urge our clients and partners to join us on this journey towards a cleaner, greener environment.