Logistics giant UPS is trialling a ‘depot-to-door’ delivery system in central London that utilises a power-assisted delivery trailer in a bid to reduce traffic congestion and emissions associated with last mile deliveries, it announced yesterday.
Following a competitive pitch process, UPS has teamed up with four other organisations – consultancy Fernhay, data management firm Skotkonung, the University of Huddersfield, and cycle-based delivery company Outspoken Delivery – on the project, which is taking place at the company’s Camden depot throughout November and December.
If successful, the company said the Low Impact City Logistics project – which it claims is the first of its kind in Britain – could “change the way packages are delivered in cities in the UK”.
The process sees packages loaded onto pay load boxes at the depot and delivered by a single trailer to a central hub in the city. The boxes are then distributed from the hub via power-assisted trailers, before the packages are delivered to homes and businesses by bicycle or on foot.
The pay load boxes are moved by electric-assisted trailers which feature “patented net-neutral technology”, UPS said, which means the weight of the parcels – up to 200 kilograms – is not felt by the handler. The company said this would enable more sustainable last mile deliveries to take place across the city.
It follows a similar green delivery trial in Dublin earlier this year in partnership with the local city council, which utilises an ‘eco package’ hub to store packages before they are either picked up by customers or sent by foot or bicycle delivery to the recipient’s address.
“Low Impact City Logistics is a collaborative project that could revolutionize the way we deliver packages in our cities,” said Peter Harris, director of sustainability for UPS Europe. “UPS has a long history of developing, deploying and promoting the use of more sustainable technology and delivery methods – and this collaboration will facilitate a one-of-a-kind urban delivery solution.”
The trial, which has been partly funded by Innovate UK, will feature bike trailers making deliveries in and around Camden for two months, UPS said.
UPS has also separately teamed up with UK Power Networks to boost its number of electric freight vehicles in London and beyond, and in September unveiled its first battery powered delivery truck produced by Daimler in the US.
Source: Business Green, “UPS trials green ‘depot-to-door’ urban delivery system“. (https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3021789/ups-trials-green-depot-to-door-urban-delivery-system-in-london). Michael Holder, November 23, 2017.
Image source: Clean Technica