Sustainable, rapid and cost-efficient home delivery for the 'last mile'

The challenge

In built-up urban areas, emissions, noise and congestion are becoming a prominent issue. Not only are customer expectations changing but government policy is also moving towards requiring lower emission transport and restricting large vehicle movement in the urban space.

This presents the Partners with a ‘last mile’ delivery challenge. With increasing demands for home delivery, the solution is not in simply putting more vehicles on the road, but in looking to the future of transport, reduction of diesel fleets and transition into alternative transport means.

The Partners are currently using internal logistics capability, i.e. distribution centres and diesel vehicles. They are therefore interested in innovative ways to deliver products to customers’ front doors which are sustainable, quick and cost effective.

The solutions we are seeking

The ideal solution would optimise deliveries in urban areas, enabling market growth in an environmentally sustainable way and maintain customer satisfaction through quality and speed of delivery.

The solution could be a combination of innovative technology but also innovative collaboration. i.e. our Partners are interested in ways of using existing infrastructure in new ways, and in working in combination with other stakeholders.

A successful outcome would demonstrate a reduction in emissions, large vehicles on the road and maintained or improved customer satisfaction. Goods to be transported vary in specification and so a range of solutions would be considered.

Solutions will be linked to the government’s 25-year environmental plan, particularly the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge, as well as recently announced commitments to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, it is predominantly hoped that this solution will allow Partners to lead the way with ‘last mile’ deliveries, ahead of regulatory change.

Selection criteria

·  Cost comparable to current delivery mechanisms.

·  The solution should not be detrimental to current performance, i.e. no increase in handling steps, match or better delivery times and must maintain customer satisfaction.

·  Key metrics will be fuel use/emissions and impact on road users.

·  Solution should be adoptable by other retailers and support business targets around emissions and order fulfillment.

·  A 2-year payback would be ideal, but there is flexibility if a solution can demonstrate clear benefits in the longer term.