Delivery done different
We see a need for delivery done different. Shopping habits are shifting to e-commerce, especially since the spring shutdown. Buying things online has helped people avoid physical stores, while keeping retailers and restaurants in business.
That has lead to increases in delivery vehicles, particularly on residential streets.
While school was out, and many tried to work from home, vehicle couriers could make their deliveries quickly in normally congested cities. Now, some kids are back to unusual school with irregular schedules. Commuting has returned for some people. Giving up road space continues to allow alfresco dining in many communities. But as weather cools, and since some areas have just paused dining in, food delivery services will likely increase.
Adding to this, Amazon set new dates for member Prime Days in October, instead of the usual July. Expect other retailers to pile on promotions to capture some much-needed sales. A surge in October online shopping added to the usual Black Friday and holiday online shopping spree is setting up for delivery nightmares. During this time, we urge those doing all these deliveries to Be Alert, when daylight and visibility on the road is lowest, and things are far from ‘normal’ on our streets.
Avoiding shipping charges we know is important for customers shopping online. Yet we also know free shipping is costly for companies, and for the environment. Learning about these new programs from around the world showed us the possibilities of delivery done different.
Electric assist for delivery pedal power
The DHL Express ‘City Hub’ concept has done delivery different since in 2015. Expanding to 17 cities in Europe and the Far East. A first North American pilot program happened last year in Manhattan with DOT, Amazon and UPS. The concept uses Cubicycles – four wheel cargo ebikes which have electric pedal assistance for additional speed and help climbing hills. A fleet of them are dropped daily in secure containers with their delivery cargo into downtown urban centres.
Pursuing pedal power, DHL launched another pilot this May with the City of Miami in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority, Miami Parking Authority and Reef Technology. Their three-wheeled electric-assisted vehicles can carry about 180 kg of cargo.
We are excited to partner with DHL and the City of Miami to shape the future of last-block delivery – Ari Ojalvo, CEO, Reef Technology.
Every morning, up to nine cargo containers are loaded into a DHL custom trailer and delivered to Reef Hub garages for last mile deliveries. Outbound shipments are re-loaded in the afternoon.
Eco-friendly road safety in one delivery
Deploying just four e-Cargo Cycles in Miami is expected to reduce 101,000 kg of CO2e annually.
DHL has an ongoing global program to use different pedal and alternative fuel-powered delivery vehicles to minimize its environmental footprint and support sustainable living initiatives by cities. Committing to reach net zero emissions from transport activities by 2050 they aim to use green energy solutions for 70 percent of deliveries by 2025.
We were equally happy to learn this eco-friendly innovation in delivering packages is also about better road safety.
Leveraging the REEF ecosystem and deploy these new environmentally-friendly vehicles not only to support our emissions-reduction efforts, but also significantly reduce the challenges associated with urban business deliveries, improving safety, productivity and costs – Greg Hewitt, CEO, DHL Express U.S.
Creative solutions found in parking lots
Interestingly, Reef is the largest operator of parking, mobility, and logistics hubs in North America. Repurposing underutilized parking facilities is their main business. Focusing on ‘last-block mobility’ and logistics they set up delivery depots in parking lots. This year they also built commercial kitchens, temporary testing and medical clinics by re-imagining parking facilities that serve the needs of cities, residents and businesses, not just parked cars.
Delivery done different is one of the inspired creative solutions to emerge from a parking lot in this crisis. We will look for more creative conversions of underutilized urban spaces into useful neighbourhood hubs that connect businesses with customers. Even better if they enhance road safety.
Be Alert safety products for your road ahead
Unlike the delivery drivers out there, we are not sure where the rest of this year’s road will take us. But we do expect home delivery will continue to be in high demand. Whether you are a courier company, delivery driver, cubicyclist or retailer, we encourage you to consider road safety and the environment with every mile you are out there. And pedestrians, do your part to pay attention on the pavement.
Trimtag helps companies with custom uniform insignia, vehicle decals, and we can source and customize eco-friendly packaging. Designing with highly reflective materials helps children wearing our exclusive Be Alert road safety products be more visible. Get in touch if you would like a sample, or to know how we can create high-visibility branded items just for you.