A car park in London is serving as the base for a zero-emission last-mile delivery operation which will see online purchases delivered by electric cargo bikes.
Based in the Q-Park Pimlico parking facility, the micro-logistics hub will receive parcels from an electric delivery vehicle and then distribute them by electric cargo bikes in Westminster and the surrounding area.
The trial is backed by Cross River Partnership (CRP), a non-profit and impartial partnership organisation, which is co-funding the 6-month trial with Westminster City Council.
The hub is being operated by Infinium Logistics and deliveries are carried out by Delivery Mates zero-emission couriers.
The project is part of the Defra-funded Clean Air Logistics for London (CALL) programme, which aims to move more freight into London via river rather than road, supported by zero-emission delivery methods and micro logistics hubs in central London.
Susannah Wilks, director, Cross River Partnership, said: “The micro-logistics hub trial with Westminster City Council, Infinium Logistics and Delivery Mates forms part of the Defra-funded Clean Air Logistics for London programme and aims to better air quality across the City of Westminster.”
Micro-logistics hubs are small, secure spaces that couriers and operators can use to receive, sort, and send deliveries in central locations, ideally by cargo bike or walking porters, to support zero-emission last-mile deliveries in the City of Westminster.
Infinium Logistics, which says its mission is to decarbonise, electrify and optimise?the first to last-mile delivery sectors, has created the Hyperlocal Logistics Hub within Q-Park Pimlico on Cumberland Street. The area has had security fencing erected, entrance gates, and the necessary electrics installed to allow the secure park and charge of e-cargo bikes and dedicated space to carry out distribution activities.
The micro-hub acts as a crucial step for consolidating deliveries, bulk-buying, and a place to sort deliveries, which can reduce the number of polluting vehicle trips and congestion. It is estimated that cargo e-bikes will deliver about 2,000 parcels a day from the hub to residents and businesses, thereby reducing congestion, pollution, and fatalities.
Delivery Mates, the company appointed to run the hub, will receive goods on electric vehicles at the micro-logistics hub and then deliver them on electric cargo bikes to the local area. Loading and unloading will take place within the car park to respect residents’ wellbeing and keep noise levels at minimum. Delivery Mates operates five existing hubs in London and have shared important data and insights, such as CO2 emissions savings and the number of parcel collections and deliveries.
Researchers at the University of Westminster used GPS data to compare routes taken by cargo bikes in London with routes that vans would have to take to deliver the same parcels. Results show that services provided by cargo bikes in London are 1.61 times faster than that performed by van, which in a year saves over 14,500kg of CO2 and over 20kg of NOx (nitrogen oxides).
Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, cabinet member for city management and air quality, said: “Westminster has some of the worst air quality in London and making improvements to reduce pollution and emissions is a key priority for us. We’re taking steps to reduce petrol or diesel car travel where we can, and this new micro-logistics hub operating in the heart of Westminster has an important part to play in this by promoting healthy, greener and more efficient deliveries in our city and so we can build a fairer environment in Westminster for everyone.”
Amarjit Pall, hyperlocal hubs channel director, Infinium Logistics, said: “We can see that cargo bikes are becoming an increasingly popular inner-city sustainable solution for final mile collection and delivery, that is why the number of hubs we operate continues to expand in the UK and throughout other parts of Europe. The stats prove it’s the right way to go with the average diesel van emitting 241g CO2 per km. By comparison, cargo bikes have zero tailpipe emissions!”
Kevin Savage, chief operating officer at Delivery Mates said: “We are hugely proud to be working with all the partners on this exciting project. Opening a micro logistics hub in Pimlico will further strengthen Delivery Mates capability to deliver sustainable logistics to customers, residents and local retailers. We look forward to playing a part in reducing congestion, removing emissions and creating a safer delivery environment for all stakeholders within Westminster.”
Adam Bidder, managing director of Q-Park UK, said: “Q-Park have been at the forefront of the European parking industry in the creation of sustainable mobility hubs. Our aim is to develop parking facilities into vital instruments to help realise urban accessibility, sustainability and liveability. We are therefore delighted for our latest scheme with Infinium Logistics and Westminster Council is being launched.”
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