The City of London Corporation, DHL Supply Chain and Ford Pro are conducting a sustainable delivery trial at London’s historic Billingsgate Market in the UK to explore ways to reduce traffic, improve air quality and offer a better customer experience.
Launched in March 2022 and continuing until August, 40 traders at Billingsgate are taking part in the trial, which focuses on deliveries from the market to commercial customers in the capital. Many traders rely on vans to make these deliveries, but for much of the day these vans are not in use. The City Corporation identified the opportunity to consolidate some of those trips, to avoid duplicating journeys and use fewer vans. The 18-week collaboration has yielded an estimated 37% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with business as usual, with 949 fewer vehicle journeys on central London’s congested roads resulting in 23,961 fewer kilometers driven overall. This has also supported reduced costs and improved efficiencies for participating businesses.
Funded by the City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Billingsgate Market, the trial is being run using DHL Supply Chain and Ford Pro vehicles, software and servicing support. The seven refrigerated Ford Pro vehicles, including an all-electric Ford E‑Transit, are equipped with sensors that feed real-time data into Ford Pro Telematics 4 and the FordLiive connected uptime system to support fleet managers as they monitor the efficiency, condition and health of the vehicles. This connected vehicle data helps Ford Fleet Management monitor and manage remaining oil life, AdBlue levels and tire pressures to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled downtime. Fleet managers are also alerted to punctures or windshield damage and can schedule required servicing and repairs around operating hours to minimize the impact on deliveries.
This trial is part of the City Corporation’s aim to reduce the environmental impact of its wholesale markets through innovation, including the planned relocation of Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields markets to Dagenham Dock. An electric vehicle charging point has been installed in the market car park.
Tutu Akinkoye, GoGreen lead for DHL Supply Chain UK and Ireland, said, “We’re delighted with the results of the trial, which support our approach to not only ‘burn clean’ through the use of sustainable alternative fuels and drivetrains, but ‘burn less’ by reducing the energy and fuel consumption of our operations. We’re equally delighted with our engagement with the traders and partners, and the future direction that this strategic project offers customers of London’s wholesale markets – the wide choice of goods, the range of delivery options and the more sustainable way in which products will reach the restaurants, wholesalers and consumers in and around the London area. Most exciting of all is that the solution is replicable in other cities facing similar challenges, both in the UK and globally.”
Hans Schep, general manager of Ford Pro in Europe, said, “Bringing our expertise to bear alongside that of City of London and DHL Supply Chain has clearly shown how Ford Pro’s software-driven, sustainable solutions are solving problems for our customers – in this case helping the historic fish market combine its deliveries for greater efficiency and to help reduce congestion. Ford Pro makes it easy for businesses to boost their productivity while operating more sustainably as we support their transition toward an electrified future.”