UK ranks fifth in Europe for delivery innovation, Courier Exchange research finds

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According to The European Delivery Innovator Index report from return loads platform Courier Exchange, the UK ranks fifth in Europe for capacity for innovation, technological progress and sustainability in the delivery and courier industry.

The research found that the UK is better equipped to adopt innovative technologies in the road delivery industry than the majority of European countries. It ranks just above Sweden, Spain and Belgium, with a score approximately double that of Poland. Yet in terms of road quality and electric light commercial vehicle usage, the UK was found to lag behind the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. The researchers stated that investment in these areas is needed if the UK wants to keep pace with other European nations.

The study analyzed data on various metrics connecting the courier industry with innovation and technological advancement. Factors taken into consideration include transportation infrastructure, electric vehicle charging point availability and the general capacity for innovation. One area where the UK appears to be paving the way is government legislation for automated vehicles (AVs). Apart from Germany, every other European country either has no legislation in development or only has approval in place for testing AVs. The report asserts that AV adoption and other emerging technology such as drones is set to energize the last-mile delivery market, influenced by rapid growth in the e-commerce industry. The UK’s legislation in this area reportedly indicates its openness to embracing new technology to expand road delivery services. Furthermore, in the summer of 2022 it was announced that within two years the UK will become home to the world’s largest automated drone superhighway. Alongside tech companies, the government unveiled plans to integrate drone deliveries into citizens’ daily lives.

Luke Davies, commercial director at Courier Exchange, said, “Demand for delivery services is showing no signs of slowing down, so to keep up, the sector will need to find efficiencies where it can. Innovation will play a huge role in achieving this, and innovation will come in many guises, from AI to drones. It’s vital that the delivery sector embraces technology and adapts, particularly when customers have become so used to convenience and speedy delivery. Customers are also demanding that the goods they buy are sustainable, at every stage of the supply chain, so we’ll soon see more electric delivery vehicles on the road. What’s encouraging is that so many European nations are well positioned when it comes to innovation. Just how ready they are varies from territory to territory, but the overall picture is promising and once innovative practices become the norm – and are seen to be successful – other countries will introduce them.”

To read the study in full, click here.

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