UPS trials sustainable delivery system in London

Delivery firm UP is testing a delivery system which sees a power-assisted trailer make last mile deliveries in central London in a bid to reduce congestion and emissions.

The company believes the depot-to-door process could “change the way packages are delivered in cities in the UK”.

During November and December, electric-assisted bike trailers will make deliveries in and around Camden, using technology which ensures the weight of parcels – up to 200kg – isn’t felt by the handler.

The Low Impact City Logistics project includes participation from four other organisations: consultancy Fernhay, tech firm Skotkonung, the University of Huddersfield, and courier firm Outspoken Delivery.

“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,” said UPS director of sustainability Peter Harris.

Taking place at UPS’s London depot, packages will be loaded onto pay load boxes and delivered to a central hub. The boxes are the distributed from the depot via power-assisted trailers, before being delivered to homes and businesses via bicycle or on foot.

Science-based target

This is the latest attempt to achieve a lower carbon footprint by UPS, which has invested more than $750m in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

Earlier this year, the company exclusively told edie that is would trial decentralised power generation and onsite storage systems at its London operating base.

UPS will deploy a “small” local battery storage system at its Kentish Town base, which will be used to systematically charge the firm’s fleet of EVs that are in operation around the city. Currently, UPS operates around 50 EV trucks in London, but as part of the trial the fleet will be increased to 72.

In June, UPS, unveiled a new science-based target to reduce carbon emissions by 12% by 2025, alongside goals to source a quarter of its electricity needs from renewables and a scale-up of its alternative fuels programme.

George Ogleby

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