The transport on our roads is now the biggest source of harmful air pollution in our towns and cities, according to the latest government figures . And, with the rise in online shopping, goods vans may be one of the biggest culprits. Although they only represent a fraction of traffic, delivery vehicles generate a disproportionate amount of emissions because of what is known as “the last mile” – the numerous short journeys made within a single town or city.
As demand for home and office delivery grows, so could the impact on our health and the environment – unless solutions are put into place quickly.
One such solution is Zedify, a new zero emission delivery service being rolled out across the country where its electric-powered cargo-bikes are replacing diesel vans in the last leg of deliveries, helping businesses do their bit in making our urban areas cleaner, greener places to live.
Who is Zedify?
Zedify stands for zero-emissions delivery. The company is the creation of social entrepreneurs Rob King of Cambridge-based Outspoken Delivery and Sam Keam of Brighton’s Recharge Cargo. King and Keam have been delivering parcels by bike in their respective locations for years. Now they’ve come together along with technology company Skotkonung to offer their service to businesses across the UK, with a growing network of ‘zero-emissions delivery hubs’.
How do the hubs work?
Goods at Zedify’s city centre depots are sorted into local, digitally-tracked delivery rounds and sent to their final addresses by specially adapted cargo bikes carrying up to 250 kilos – or electric vans if needed. Customers include online retailers, logistics carriers such as TNT as well as local businesses for across town deliveries.
Where are they?
Zedify already serves six locations across the UK – central London, Glasgow, Cambridge Waltham Forest, Brighton and Norwich. Zedify’s investment in new technology allows them to operate on a national scale. They aim to be able to offer a zero emission service in all urban areas in the near future starting with Edinburgh next month.
Zedify’s fleet of bikes, trikes and electric vehicles move thousands of items across congested cities every day – without the noxious emissions of diesel vans.
Online booking, and digital tracking connects seamlessly with customers’ own systems and route-shortening navigation keeps costs down and delivery times fast. Zedify helps businesses reduce their environmental impact, whilst also satisfying the needs of those customers with a super-powered, super-efficient delivery service.
Zedify’s co-founder, Rob King, says: “Demand for deliveries to door and desk is booming, but our cities just can’t cope with ever-increasing numbers of diesel vans contributing to the toxic mix of poor air-quality and increased congestion. Businesses, especially retailers, need to step up and decouple the last mile of their deliveries to more sustainable services – which Zedify now enables them to do.
Zedify’s other co-founder, Sam Keam says: “A whopping 90% of millennial shoppers say they prefer to buy from companies with a social or environmental purpose. If their online order arrives by bike, then that’s a big, and very visual, statement. For the first time, progressive brands can deliver the environmentally friendly services their customers demand, while maintaining their expectations around cost and speed.”
“As a socially motivated company, we’re committed to being good employers and pay our couriers a proper living wage. We’ve joined forces under Zedify to maximise the benefits we’ve been making through our own local zero-emissions delivery businesses– ultimately to make our urban areas healthier places to live.”
What customers say
Marc Glen, logistics manager, Abcam Plc, which produces scientific research kits, said: “Our customers are always overwhelmingly positive about the service they receive from Zedify. We fully welcome the change in scale and ambition of the business. The new IT platform they’ve introduced has been a huge benefit, meaning we can book and order deliveries online and get digital proof of delivery in real time."
Adam Cozens, Co-founder, Perky Blenders said: “The guys provide a friendly, adaptable service and we're proud to be using such an ecologically suitable solution in a busy urban environment.”
Launching on Clean Air Day (21 June), the UK’s first national zero-emissions delivery service is on a quest to help make our busiest cities cleaner, greener places to live.