October 29, 2023

Blog/ What does last mile delivery look like in London?

Bex Young

London is a busy hub of activity’ a living city that’s constantly on the move. Getting your packages to their destinations amidst the daily hustle and bustle can be a challenge, but urban last mile logistics specialists are on hand to help.

Cargo bikes from Zedify are a great, sustainable method to make your customers’ last mile delivery on time and efficient, every time. But, don’t just take us at face value! n this article, we’ll define last mile delivery, go over the options and their benefits, and give insight on the leading green practices for delivering your products.

Go green with last mile delivery and courier services from us >

Last mile delivery: defined

So, what does last mile delivery actually mean? Well, it’s a stage of the supply chain, the process of getting goods from the manufacturer to the customer. Last mile delivery is – as you may guess from the name – the final part of the journey, where an item travels  from the warehouse or store and into the customer’s hands.

The last mile can safely be considered as the most crucial stage of the supply chain. A great deal of time and effort may have already gone into transporting the product to the warehouse, so ensuring a smooth final step is fundamental to creating a top experience for customers and keeping them loyal to your business.

Why Does Sustainable Last Mile Delivery Matter in London?

In 2020, an estimated 450 million parcels were delivered in London. With such massive volumes, the stakes are high when it comes to making sure these deliveries are quick, efficient, and sustainable.

All over the world, people, businesses, and authorities are working on improving their environmental impact. All aspects of day-to-day operations are taken into account, analysed , and investigated for ways to improve them.

Two key things have happened across society as a result of this analysis:

  1. Positive public perception of sustainable activities has become more prevalent
  2. Regulations have been put in place to ensure more eco-friendly solutions are utilised

Of particular importance to London, are the low-emission zones (LEZ) of varying categories which impose tolls on certain vehicles travelling through specific areas. Finding alternative methods to standard last mile delivery can avoid the cost of these tolls, reduce impact on the environment, and improve public perception.

The balancing act, then, is finding a courier who can supply you with these benefits while also providing excellent service and convenient delivery for your customers.

Find out more on last mile delivery in London with our article on the ULEZ >

What are my options for last mile delivery in London?

Depending on the needs of your business and customers, you’ll want to consider different types of transportation. The method for transporting fashion parcels may not be the best method for, say, large bulk deliveries of construction goods.

Finding what works best for you can elevate your business activities and improve the delivery time and experience for your customers. To that end, here’s three of the top transportation methods used for last mile delivery in London:

  • Cargo Bikes

Pretty much a catch-all for last mile delivery in London, cargo bikes are a great transportation method for a huge range of businesses and the parcels they deliver.  Over 90% of all goods transported in cities could be delivered in this way. The bikes offer speedy, reliable, and eco-friendly delivery of goods to hard to reach areas, navigating busy streets and difficult access points of London with ease.

With bike lanes becoming more prevalent and traffic zones becoming more restrictive in London, cargo bikes are a step towards a future of convenient, green delivery in any major city or urban environment. Zedify chooses a range of electric cargo bikes, each with different capacities and features, to ensure we deliver every single parcel as efficiently as possible.

For high-speed, no-fuss, sustainable last mile delivery, talk to the team at Zedify today!.Vans, Motorbikes, and Cars

While they’ve had a good run, petrol and diesel motors are a thing of the past. We need to have a conscious shift from the fuel-guzzling, carbon-exuding vehicles we’ve grown accustomed to.

Now this doesn’t mean the end for high-speed, bulky transportation in London. On the contrary, the growing market for electric vehicles has meant improvements to carbon emissions for last mile deliveries across the board.

Electric vans are a good fit for large or heavy freight such as furniture. But it’s important that logistics vehicles are right-sized, which means using the lightest, most efficient vehicle available for the size or weight of the freight. , Electric vans, cars and motorbikes struggle as a wholesale solution for urban logistics for a couple of reasons: firstly, traffic in London is notoriously bad and these  bvehicles  contribute to the traffic and they get slowed down by it. Secondly, the carbon emissions associated with using these vehicles are much higher (some 96% when comparing EVs to cargo bikes) .

  • Drop-off Points or PUDO

One final thing you could consider are drop-off points or PUDO (pick up, drop off). This allows the customer to gather the packages themselves, meaning they only need to go so far as their nearest hub.

This is a growing, popular solution for a range of different use cases, including peer-to-peer resale sites like Vinted, where customers are both regularly sending and receiving parcels. While great for being able to deliver products to a single destination in bulk, drop-off points still tend to rely on a logistics infrastructure that uses diesel trucks emitting high levels CO2 emissions – not great for trying to go net-zero. Because PUDO hubs are not currently available close by to everyone, there’s no guarantee the customer won’t come by car, which could diminish the sustainability efforts of using this delivery system.

Trying to reach net-zero carbon production? Check out our article comparing offsetting to using cargo bikes >

Get greener last mile delivery in London 

By far, the best choice for last mile delivery in London is the trusty cargo bike. We’re not just keeping the environment in mind when we say this(although it is an important consideration) – there’s actually a great number of benefits that are exclusive to this eco-friendly delivery method:

  • They’re clean, light vehicles designed with urban environments in mind
  • Up to 98% less CO2 used per delivery compared to  diesel van
  • And 96% less CO2 compared to an electric van
  • Easier parking
  • Access to low-traffic and pedestrianised zones
  • Smaller road footprint – less affected by traffic
  • They look unique on the road and, particularly when wrapped, provide excellent advertising opportunities for brands

Primarily, the main reason to start using cargo bikes for your last mile delivery in London (if you haven’t already!) is to cut down on your emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that are damaging our planet.

With a host of benefits unobtainable by conventional delivery methods, cargo bikes improve your carbon output and can even provide other benefits to the efficacy of your deliveries themselves.

Read our article on how transportation can change for the better >

Cut Out Carbon with Last Mile Delivery from Zedify

Once you’ve combed through the options, consider – do you really need to be using petrol vehicles? If you do, where can you cut down and replace them? That’s where cargo bikes can come in, offering a valuable, efficient, and eco-friendly method for last mile delivery in London.

Improve your carbon footprint and supply chain process with cargo bike courier services from Zedify. Get in touch to find out more, check out our services, or read on with some related articles!

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