Over the past decade, with a steady rise in e-commerce, globally, there has been a rapid increase in the number of delivery vehicles on the roads, particularly vans. Almost all delivery vans are diesel and have thus been repeatedly criticised for adding to the ever-growing levels of air pollution in several cities around the world.
According to a survey conducted involving 1,000 respondents across Europe, from the U.K., France and Netherlands, a startling 85% of customers said they don’t mind waiting for 6 to 8 days for a package delivery if it would help reduce pollution and crowding. Only 10% stated that they would opt for an express delivery in spite of it not alleviating the current environmental conditions, while 5% said they were willing to pay an additional amount for expedited green delivery services if the extra 1 Euro charge is given to an environmental charity like Greenpeace.
What is Green delivery?
Green delivery is the most ethical method of transporting products. To substantially reduce their carbon footprint, organisations should employ greener service delivery systems. For example, companies could resort to clustering deliveries together or employ carbon-practical transport such as electric vehicles and two-wheelers. According to Transport for London (TfL), 39% of the vans in London use just 25% of their maximum capacity. If companies are more environmentally conscious, they will wait for vans to get fuller before sending them out on deliveries, which would considerably reduce the number of trips and as a consequence, contribute less to air pollution.
Here are a few examples of brands that extend greener delivery options to their customers:
Ocado – The food delivery brand, Ocado, which is based in the U.K., aims at categorising their deliveries by area so that they can send out fewer vans which are fuller. When their consumers have to select a delivery time, they can view slots that have been already booked in the same location and highlighted as “greener delivery slots.” So, customers can then choose the more environmentally friendly option.
Sainsbury’s – Similar to Ocado’s delivery services, the very popular British supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, flags time slots that already have a delivery booked in the same location so that its customers can choose the greener option.
Futurumshop – The Dutch bicycle-supplies company, Futurumshop, have collaborated with Fietskoeriers to take city logistics to a whole new level of convenience and efficiency. Products are delivered to customers using a free bike service. Besides being an extremely economical and green option, bike enthusiasts can also get their orders on the same day. So, it is a win-win situation and a brilliant eco-friendly delivery alternative.
Picnic – This food delivery company in the Netherlands, follow a standard route at scheduled times. Customers are aware of when the electric delivery van will be in the area, or they can track it on the Picnic app to make sure that someone is at home to collect their parcel. Thus, the company ensures that they save time and valuable resources by sticking to a set route and schedule.
According to a survey carried out by logistics company B2C Europe, 69% of customers said that they would prefer purchasing products from a company that is environmentally conscious. On the flip side, 58% of customers said that they were ignorant of the fact that quicker deliveries contribute to an increase in pollution, which is why they don’t usually choose the more efficient delivery mode.
Rijk van Meekeren, CCO of B2C Europe stated that companies need to better educate their consumers on the effects of their choices have on the environment. Furthermore, he also explained that companies should continuously consider how they can adapt faster and more economical delivery solutions as consumers are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious.
Soon the future of e-commerce will hinge on the industry’s capability to source innovative solutions and grow more sustainable green delivery alternatives and thereby enhance the customer service experience considerably.