Tesco to work with suppliers on ‘Tetris-style’ route planning to cut delivery emissions over Christmas

Pictured: Electric articulated HGVs launched in Wales by Tesco earlier this year. Image: Tesco

Tesco’s distribution team is partnering with 15 of the retailer’s major suppliers to reduce the number of trucks on the road this Christmas.

The retailer’s road traffic control team has reviewed supplier delivery routes to and from distribution locations with a view to consolidating and streamlining the routes which trucks take. The new initiative is aimed at stopping trucks taking unnecessary journeys as the retailer has products delivered from distribution centres to stores.

Tesco is also working to fill gaps in trucks, to reduce empty space while ensuring the products won’t be damaged. This approach has already saved more than 400,000 truck miles annually. Tesco has so far taken more than 3,400 trucks off the road, leading to savings of more than 450 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The retailer’s head of supplier ordering Trudy Wilson said: “By working closely with our suppliers and joining them up to use each other’s transport routes, we’re delighted to have delivered savings in emissions and costs for suppliers. The ‘Tetris’-style project helps us use as much space as possible in our trucks over the Christmas period, making the most of every journey and helping to keep trucks off the road at a busy time of year.

We have exciting plans for the year ahead and are hoping to expand the project with more suppliers coming on board.”

Electric evolution

Earlier this year, Tesco launched its first zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries across Great London, with plans in place to add more to its service over the coming months.

Tesco’s first zero-emission electric lorry has been provided by Renault Trucks and is currently delivering to more than 400 stores in Greater London. The lorry has a range of up to 130 miles with the same carry capacity as the conventional diesel trucks it is replacing.

The lorry is expected to replace around 30,000 miles of diesel truck transport, saving around 23 tonnes of CO2e annually. Tesco has also introduced an EV charge point at its Dagenham distribution centre to provide clean energy charging.

Tesco is also working with other businesses through the Government’s Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA) to increase the uptake of electric vehicle (EV) fleets in the UK.

Tesco has a net-zero target for operational emissions by 2035 in the UK. UK operations have already been provided with interim decarbonisation targets, set against a 2015 baseline: delivering a 35% cut by 2020; 60% by 2025 and 85% by 2030.

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