Kevin Kviblad, Urb-it CEO, recently presented at DELIVER, the leading global event for the ecommerce and logistics sector held in Amsterdam. He shared insights on the challenges for our cities in coping with increasing delivery volumes – and what sustainability claims related to the delivery process actually mean.
Ecommerce delivery volumes continue to grow, as does the traffic and congestion challenges in our cities. Yet many of the ‘solutions’ presented today are not true, long-term solutions.
Carbon offsetting will not solve the challenges with pollution and congestion today, nor are the projects invested in through offsetting likely to be in those cities that are facing the biggest challenges.
Electric vans are not the true, long-term solution. Freight occupies 40% of the space on our streets. If demand for urban last-mile deliveries increases by 78% by 2030 as predicted, this is expected to lead to the addition of 36% more delivery vehicles.
While electric vans partially address emissions – they don’t address congestion or the road safety issues that vans, whether electric or not, cause. In London for example, 60% of fatal bike accidents and 20% of pedestrian accidents are caused by transport vehicles.
This is particularly alarming when many of the delivery vans on our streets are operating quite often at low capacities – effectively ‘vans full of air’. This also has an impact on working conditions as poor pay, in an industry dependent on a high number of stops to be profitable, results in corners being cut and poorly maintained vehicles.
The good news is that many cities across Europe have ultra-low emission zones in effect and are creating their own net zero approaches to reduce congestion and pollution. More than 50% of all goods in urban areas can be transported by cargo bikes, and for the largest ecommerce segments, including fashion and beauty, the number is 100%.
E-cargo bike deliveries directly reduce not only congestion and air pollution but also noise pollution, an increasing health issue. Cargo bikes are also more efficient, since they are able to do more drops per hour, are more cost-effective, and they are able to use the growing cycling networks in cities.
Urb-it is a business that has been built on the foundation of being a business that is successful by doing good. We want to highlight how truly sustainable delivery is neither expensive, nor difficult. Increasing delivery volumes via our services will reduce the vans on our streets – leading to reduced congestion, pollution and fewer accidents. Ultimately creating healthier cities for citizens.
Watch the full presentation below.