News & Blog
The van livery was developed through a collaborative three-way partnership with Gnewt, ASOS and RGVA to produce an instantly recognisable, non-PVC, environmentally friendly wrap. The aim of the livery was to create a distinctive ASOS branded van which highlights our commitment to last mile, emission-free delivery to all of its clients within London.
Whilst being more environmentally friendly, the non-PVC wrap is also high quality and very durable lasting for over a decade. The material is phthalate-free and conforms to a wide range of environments for long-term application. Its durability includes in the case of graphics exposed to petrol spills. ASOS has conveyed a significant message through choosing its first branded vans to be all electric and wrapped in a more environmentally friendly film.
The venture has been a huge success for all firms involved and has achieved its aim of creating a distinctive, recognisable and environmentally friendly van, with the vehicle wrap maintaining the low carbon footprint of the service. The ability to wrap the van in a material which fits with both the ethos of Gnewt and the feel of its client, ASOS, was a perfect match.
Gnewt is constantly innovating and looking for ways to be even more environmentally friendly including through initiatives on tyre wear, dust particles, Portering and route mapping.
Ford partners with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution to trial new digital parcel courier service designed to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries
FORD’S NEW TAKE ON GETTING PARCELS TO YOUR DOOR COULD HELP SPEED DELIVERIES, EASE CONGESTION AND IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
• Ford partners with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution (Gnewt) to trial new digital parcel courier service designed to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries
• Ford’s new cloud-based software identifies optimum places for van drivers to pull over near multiple drop-off points; pedestrian and, one day, cycle couriers perform last leg of delivery
• Gnewt is an award winning sustainable urban parcel courier specialising in zero-emission last mile delivery services
LONDON, Feb. 18, 2019 – The next time you order a sweater it could arrive at your doorstep with help from a new “warehouse on wheels” – currently being trialled in London – that has the potential to help cut traffic, reduce emissions, and improve delivery times.
From groceries to fashion, the growth in online shopping across Europe means the number of parcel deliveries is expected to double in the next ten years. * Most of these deliveries are fulfilled by vans, leading to escalating congestion in many cities with average journey times in London having risen by more than 40 per cent in just three years. ** As a result, carriers are under increasing pressure to deliver more parcels, more quickly, with less cost, while continuing to ensure employee welfare and environmental responsibility.
Now, a new digital delivery service being trialled by Ford in partnership with Gnewt by Menzies Distribution will efficiently coordinate multiple modes of transport including pedestrian and – one day – bicycle couriers.
During the trial, Gnewt’s “last mile” delivery service will be driven by Ford’s intelligent cloud based, multimodal routing and logistics software MoDe:Link, that manages all aspects of parcel delivery from depot to doorstep. This could help couriers, fleet managers, logistics and food delivery companies optimise processes and increase van utilisation, saving time and money while boosting capacity.
The service could also improve customer experience by offering improved delivery windows and reducing costs, speeding time from order to delivery by enabling vans to make more frequent round trips back to the depot. In addition, it could contribute to healthier streets and reduced traffic in major cities, cutting congestion around valuable kerb space where vans typically load and unload.
“Our goal is to keep larger vehicles like delivery vans operating in the high load, less congested environments in which they perform best,” said Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility. “However, for the last mile of a journey into an urban area, where congestion and lack of parking can be a challenge, it makes sense to offload deliveries to more nimble, efficient and cost#effective modes of transport.”
Ford is committed to tackling urban mobility challenges, in particular the deliveries of goods and services, through innovation, technology and partnerships. The “warehouse on wheels” concept is designed to be compatible both with Ford vans and those of other manufacturers. These vans then act as dynamic delivery hubs that collect orders from a depot and then briefly stop at strategic locations determined to be the most efficient for each batch of orders. Ford’s proprietary software platform coordinates with nearby foot couriers – or potentially with bicycle couriers, drones and autonomous robots in the future – to fulfil the last leg of each delivery.
SMART, SUSTAINABLE DELIVERIES
Multimodal deliveries like these have the potential to be faster, cheaper and offer greater capacity than van only deliveries. *** Ford estimates that one van and a team of four couriers on foot or bicycle could be used to deliver the same number of parcels as five individual vans when working as part of a multimodal network.
For the London trial Ford is partnering with Gnewt, a sustainable urban parcel delivery service and winner of the 2018 U.K. Sustainable Logistics Company of the Year.
Gnewt operates the largest fully electric delivery fleet in the UK with more than 70 electric vans and has pioneered sustainable last mile delivery services, working with leading retailers, ecommerce companies and logistics firms to deliver three million parcels a year to consumers and businesses in London.
Working with Transport for London and with several universities as part of the FTC2050 research project, Gnewt has been trailing urban portering services to measure the impact of this new approach as a model for reducing the number of vans needed to fulfil deliveries and cut emissions. ***
“We want to change the way we think about moving goods around our cities,” said Sam Clarke, founder and head of business development, Gnewt. “We are keen to understand how multimodal deliveries can benefit our business, our customers, and – by promoting active travel and the associated health and environmental benefits of walking and cycling – our employees too. We are delighted to be working with Ford and helping to trial its revolutionary new software solution.”
DELIVERING THE LAST MILE
The U.K. Government has also recognised the need to develop smarter delivery solutions for urban areas, launching an open consultation to further explore last mile deliveries and the opportunities available to deliver goods more sustainably. The call for evidence, to which Ford has responded, seeks to examine the environmental benefits of micro vehicles, e-cargo bikes, and measures to improve logistical efficiency. ****
“Freight and deliveries are central to supporting London’s economy, with half of the value of the capital’s household expenditure relying on it,” said Michael Hurwitz, director of transport innovation, Transport for London. “However, congestion and poor air quality are some of the biggest challenges the city faces. More last mile deliveries made in this way, alongside the growth of micro consolidation centres, are essential to tackle the pollution problem and keeping the roads moving. Ford’s harnessing of technology to change the model for supplying homes and businesses should be applauded and is an example for others in the sector to follow.”
Building on the company’s success as the top selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe, the London trial is one of several initiatives in which Ford is looking to address delivery and urban mobility challenges in the city of tomorrow.
In the U.K., Ford is working with Transport for London on a multi million pound project to trial 20 plugin hybrid Transit vans that run solely on electric power for most city trips. The trial is being extended to the City of Valencia, Spain and Cologne, Germany this year. In the U.S., Ford continues to innovate in urban goods and service deliveries as it prepares for a future with self driving vehicles. Ford has teamed up with Postmates, an on demand delivery platform in Miami and Miami Beach to operate a self-driving delivery service.
* Parcel Delivery: The future of last mile (McKinsey&Company, Sept. 2016).
**Average time for 5 mile journey 2012-2015: http://inrix.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/INRIX-London-Congestion-Trends-May16.pdf;
*** FTC2050 Portering Trial Report: http://www.ftc2050.com/reports/Final_report_portering.pdf
Interview with the evening standard - ULEZ: How delivery service Gnewt use electric vehicles to cut car emissions and reduce air pollution
As the ULEZ comes into effect in April, Sadiq Khan has promised a £46 million fund for businesses to make the switch to cleaner cars.
While many London-based businesses explore their options to use vehicles that will be exempt from the charge, Future London spoke to a company that has been operating a fully electric fleet for a decade.
Gnewt, a delivery service using only electric vans, was founded by Sam Clarke in 2008, who had previously developed electric bikes and scooters.
“I had spent a lot of time in China, where the use of electric vehicles was prevalent in major cities a long time before the rest of us were doing it.
“I thought: ‘If Chinese residents were able to use a solution then why aren’t we doing it?’” he said.
Despite starting Gnewt at a time when the economy was in a downturn, Mr Clarke said support from TfL helped it get off the ground.
Clarke’s company, which was sold to distribution company Menzies in 2017, is now looking into how to increase sustainability of its business practices even further.
Adam Smith, group commercial director at Menzies Distribution, said: “It’s not just about reduction in car emissions, but reduction in congestion too.”
He added the company was looking into new ways of delivering parcels that would involve delivery drivers travelling part of the journey on bike or on foot.
Clarke, who still works with Gnewt, noted that in addition to engine emissions, there are also concerns over tyre wear producing particulate matter, which is linked to breathing problems.
As more businesses make the switch to cleaner cars to comply with ULEZ standards, Clarke’s advice to business owners is to plan ahead.
“The reality is, we’ve known about [the ULEZ] for about four years and we’ve had all that time to plan for it.
“It is about sufficient planning and understanding what vehicles are available and when.”
Published 20th February 2019 on the Evening Standard by Jessica Taylor
Sam Clarke, founder of green logistic specialists Gnewt, runs the largest all-electric fleet in the UK. He explains that the logistics of ensuring they are all sufficiently charged is no easy task, but one that will be repeated endlessly as many countries reach the electric-vehicle tipping point. Here’s his take on what we need.
In August 1967, the UK’s Electric Vehicle Association stated that Britain had more battery-electric vehicles on its roads than the rest of the world put together. This was due to the nationwide fleet of trusty milk floats used to deliver fresh milk to households.
Times have changed. In 2003 I travelled extensively in China and was struck (almost literally) by how many electric scooters were already a main source of affordable transportation. So much so, I invested in this technology and immediately started commuting by electric vehicle in London, energised by what I had seen in the Far East.
There were just two publicly available charge points in London when I began in this new transportation world 15 years ago. When I commuted into town and parked opposite the Lyceum Theatre in London every day to plug my scooter in, I loved the fact that I was proving the case that this system works. Except of course, until someone else wanted to regularly use the same charging post as me every day, so my perfect little system was obliterated simply by demand outstripping supply.
The proliferation of electric cars and vans has been unprecedented in recent times with new registrations of plug-in cars increasing from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 182,000 by the end of October 2018. In many ways the technological landscape has changed immeasurably, but in others we have progressed little since the days of the still recognisable and functioning milk float.
A lack of harmony
In 2003, the Internet of Things (IoT) was well, not a thing, whereas now it is commonplace in many of our lives to be in some way continually inter-connected to the cloud. I can log into my electric car from an app to see its state of charge, another app now to see if my home charger is being used or another to get my smart meter reading. It is however not yet working in harmony.
If we are to achieve a revolution in electric vehicle uptake we need a harmonious IoT solution and quickly. As Elon Musk says, “we can’t keep burning dead dinosaurs”, nor can we all charge our cars at peak times. Just like my first public charging experience, demand will outstrip supply all too quickly.
From a commercial perspective, this year Gnewt upgraded the smart charging infrastructure for our fleet of fully electric vans. The challenge was to engineer a solution for 60 smart charge points at two nearby locations, all connected and all managed via the cloud with a limited incoming supply. These vehicles’ daily charge was critical to the business, so this was a UK first and a pioneering moment in a sector widely regarded as being at its tipping point of mass adoption.
During this development I realised how complex this solution was and that the problem we were solving is likely to be replicated all over the country in domestic and commercial applications alike for years to come.
With a traditional internal combustion engine car (or ICE for short), the focus is on which type of vehicle best suits your need, the fuel was largely inconsequential as the two main choices were diesel or petrol. Conversely in the world of an electric vehicle there is so much more to consider. Where will I park and charge? How will I charge? Is there enough power? When is the electricity cheaper? How far can I travel? All these questions and more need answering before you even choose a suitable vehicle.
In our commercial application within the business we came to realise very quickly three fundamental areas that needed addressing. The building was as a limited and varying power source with lifts or powered shutter doors working, if only for a minute. We also needed to know what the vans’ power requirements were on their return to base (via telematics) and lastly what charger posts were available and where. To make a solution that was truly smart, we needed to find a way to electronically connect all these elements together on the cloud so to create a viable and working solution.
These types of challenges exist for us because we have the largest commercial electric fleet in the UK, but this same challenge will transcend the commercial and domestics sectors alike very soon and as a country we are not yet equipped to deal with it.
The author of this blog is Sam Clarke, founder of green logistic specialists Gnewt