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Royal Mail partners with Ford in latest delivery trial

Royal Mail and Ford have worked together to test whether multi-modal delivery using Ford’s routing software could help Royal Mail to increase its foot-based deliveries of larger parcels in urban areas.

The trial, which took place in the M4 postcode area of Manchester, saw van usage for the delivery routes involved drop by 50%, whilst daily vehicle mileage fell by 33%. It enabled several posties to make deliveries with only one vehicle supporting them by identifying safe, convenient locations for the handover of parcels. During the trial, postmen and postwomen used a smartphone app that provided the van’s location and showed the most efficient routes to deliver the parcels.

The trial marks the latest in a range of initiatives by Royal Mail. They include the use of micro electric vehicles and drones for delivery to remote locations, to use fewer vans in its network.

Ford’s software helped Royal Mail use fewer vans in the trial area. The software enabled several posties to make deliveries with one vehicle supporting them. It identified safe, convenient locations for the handover of parcels to postmen and postwomen who then made deliveries to a mix of high-rise, business, and residential buildings. During the trial, postmen and postwomen used a smartphone app that provided the location of the van and showed the most efficient routes to deliver the parcels.

Tom Thompson, founder, last mile delivery at Ford Mobility, said: “Our software made it possible for Royal Mail to help reduce carbon emissions and congestion in city centres.”

Achim Dunnwald, chief operating officer at Royal Mail, said: “At Royal Mail, we are continuously looking at opportunities to reduce our emissions, alongside delivering convenience to our customers.”

Image credits:
  • Royal Mail