Ford/Hermes: trial new sustainable courier service

By Georgia Wilson
Ford forms partnership with Hermes to trail a new sustainable courier service, making online shopping smarter, faster and more sustainable...

Automotive manufacturer- Ford - has partnered with Hermes to trial a sustainable courier service to reduce the footprint of parcel deliveries in the UK, as well as making them more timely. 

“Being smarter about how we deliver parcels in the future will enable carriers to operate more sustainably and efficiently – while delivering a better experience for customers. Our trials with Hermes have shown how multi-modal deliveries can be scalable and effective, even during peak times of the year,” commented Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility.

Ford’s partnership with Hermes

Harnessing Ford’s smart ‘MoDe:Link’ multi-modal routing and logistics software to “coordinate traditional delivery vans with pedestrian couriers, identifying safe locations for drivers to park within walking distance of multiple delivery addresses,” couriers can harness a simple smartphone app to identify the most economical routes and itinerary to deliver parcels. The app also integrates with Hermes’ tracking systems for real-time delivery statuses for customers.

“The overall system orchestrates the end-to-end journey for each parcel, ensuring that deliveries – whether on the first mile from the depot by road, or the last mile to the doorstep on foot – are as efficient and as sustainable as they can be,” stated Ford.

Launched in September 2020, the solution was put to the test during the Christmas peak. “Operating alongside a team of eight pedestrian couriers and located across three postcode areas, two Ford Transit vans delivered the same number of parcels as six vans making conventional doorstep deliveries – and did so more quickly.”

Promoting cleaner air in cities

Ford reports that Last Mile Delivery is just one of the ways it is exploring how connected technologies can help promote cleaner air in cities.

A recent study conducted by Ford in three European cities showed the ways in which blockchain and dynamic geofencing can complement plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to improve urban air quality.

“We are exploring new delivery initiatives that can reduce emissions for the final mile delivery as part of our commitment to sustainability, and to also be prepared for further incoming legislation in cities, such as ultra-low emission zones. In addition, this operating model is easy to scale up to meet the increasing demand for home delivery and opens up the courier work for a whole new workforce who no longer need to drive or own a vehicle,” added Carl Lyon, Chief Operating Officer, Hermes UK.

For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital.

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