Hermes and Ford have trialled a new delivery model which combines delivery vans with pedestrian couriers.
In the trial, taking place in central London, loaded delivery vans use Ford’s software to identify safe and convenient locations to park. The drivers use a simple smartphone app which integrates this technology with Hermes’s tracking systems so that information can be provided to the customer.
They then make handovers to multiple pedestrian couriers, who unload parcels onto trollies and deliver them to nearby delivery addresses.
The pilot showed that the parcels were delivered more quickly using this method, with a team of eight pedestrian couriers and two vans delivering the same number of parcels as six vans delivering in a conventional way.
Aiming to reduce traffic and emissions, the pilot initially took place in three postcodes in central London. The companies will now explore extending the pilot to further across the UK.
Carl Lyon, COO at Hermes UK, said: “We’re exploring new delivery initiatives that can reduce emissions for the final mile delivery as part of our commitment to sustainability and getting ahead of future legislation in cities, such as Ultra Low Emissions Zones.
“In addition, this operating model is easy to scale up to meet the increasing demand for home delivery and opens up the courier work for a whole new workforce who no longer need to drive or own a vehicle and want to stay active.”
Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility, said: “Being smarter about how we deliver parcels in the future will enable carriers to operate more sustainably and efficiently – while delivering a better experience for customers. Our trials with Hermes have shown how multi-modal deliveries can be scalable and effective, even during peak times of the year.”