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Is Your Last Mile Fleet Keeping Up with Sustainability Trends?

An upward trend in online shopping has seen an increased demand in the last mile delivery sector. But how is this trend affecting customers' choices when it comes to sustainable delivery?

Delivery driver for last mile logistics operations

The pandemic accelerated a trend in online shopping that was already happening – and it is nowhere near done yet. In fact, market analysts predict that e-commerce will account for over 38% of total retail sales in the UK by 2025. 

This soaring demand has seen last mile logistics operators substantially grow their fleets of delivery vehicles. However, a key question is whether these fleets are keeping up with changing customer attitudes toward e-commerce and sustainability. 

This change is most clearly defined in young adults. A recent study by UNiDAYS, a discount website for students, found 80% of Gen Z would consider paying more for products that meet their last mile sustainability expectations. 

But attitudes overall are also changing. UK e-commerce association IMRG recently conducted a survey with 1,000 shoppers to find out their attitudes to sustainability. 63% said that a green delivery option was important, while 68% said they expect to see greener delivery options available this year. More than a quarter will regularly shop elsewhere if their preferred delivery option is not available, while over 40% will do so at least sometimes.  

(Electric) Vehicles Are Vital

Crucially, the vehicle used for delivery is the second-highest sustainability priority for consumers after packaging. 50.9% want environmentally friendly vehicles used, while 33.9% want drivers equipped with route planning technology to ensure they complete deliveries in the lowest possible number of miles. 

Alarmingly, half of the respondents were open to the idea of paying more for greener, more sustainable delivery, while 22% said they would be inclined to leave a negative review if they found out that a retailer was not living up to its sustainability policy. 

Putting all this data together, shoppers want cleaner, greener (electric) vehicles to deliver their parcels. And retailers who do not have sustainable development goals for their delivery services will lose sales to those who do; along with risking reputational damage.  

Expert Partner

Some last mile logistics operators like DX Group are already making big strides to switch their delivery fleet vehicles, to electric vehicles. Mer worked with DX to put EV charging at the heart of their strategy, ensuring that all depots had the available power to support EV fleet charging, as well as the right charge points. Mer also established the best possible route for the charging infrastructure project, assuring the switch to electric did not impact operational efficiency. 

It is vital to think first about EV charging infrastructure as it is the single most important factor in determining how quickly you can transition to electric vans and trucks. Mer is an expert in EV charging for the last mile, working with household names like IKEA, Asda, and Sainsbury’s, as well as last mile logistics specialists like DX Freight, and Breezemount. 

We have distilled our expertise into a free guide for the sector, providing advice on every step of the electrification process, from depot surveys to understanding power availability, through to EV charger procurement, installation, and after-sales support. 

Talk to Us

If you’re concerned that your last mile fleet is not aligned with the growing customer desire for greener delivery vehicles, talk to us about a site survey.  

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