Royal Mail has trialed new routing software from automotive giant Ford to help improve the efficiency of delivering larger parcels by foot in urban areas.
Equipped with parcel trolleys, delivery workers were guided by a smartphone app that provided the location of strategically placed vans and showed the most efficient routes to deliver the parcels.
Manchester was chosen as the trial area due to the launch of the Clean Air Zone in 2022, with daily van charges coming into effect from 2023.
The MoDe:Link software enabled Royal Mail to reduce the number of parcel vans needed in the city center each day while maintaining fast and efficient deliveries. During the trial, van usage along the routes decreased by 50% and daily vehicle mileage decreased by 33%, resulting in a reduction in CO2e emissions per parcel.
Tom Thompson, founder of last mile delivery at Ford Mobility, said, “Our software made it possible for Royal Mail to help reduce carbon emissions and congestion in city centers. As we enter the busiest and most magical time of year for parcels, we are delighted to see the results of this trial prove the value of delivery on foot and the effectiveness of Ford’s software in making city centers cleaner, greener and safer.”
Achim Dünnwald, chief operating officer at Royal Mail, said, “Ford’s software enabled Royal Mail to reduce van usage and mileage in the trial area, while still offering a prompt and reliable parcel delivery service. At Royal Mail, we are continuously looking at opportunities to reduce our emissions, alongside delivering convenience to our customers.”
Royal Mail is currently exploring a range of initiatives to reduce its van network, including the use of micro electric vehicles and drones for delivery to remote locations.