Parcel porters trialled by Gnewt Cargo

Low carbon delivery company Gnewt Cargo has been piloting ‘parcel porter’ trials where delivery staff carry parcels the ‘last yard’ from stationary delivery vehicles.

Gnewt Cargo has established a reputation as a low carbon delivery firm with a 150 strong fleet of all-electric vehicles. It is working with academic researchers to see how parcel porters could reduce its carbon footprint even further.

The trial is taking place in Southwark (in the London SE1 postcode) and the City (EC3). The theory goes that since there are fewer miles being driven by delivery vehicles this will reduce the carbon emissions further – they will not be driving around looking for parking spaces for example.

Early indications from the research suggest that electric vans and parcel porters could well be a viable model for urban parcel deliveries. More research however is required.

A notice posted on the Institute of Couriers website (Clarke is the chair of the IOC electric vehicle group) provided this update on the findings so far: “The team’s earlier research concluded that a typical parcel van delivers on average 126 parcels to 72 different establishments from 37 stopping places over a 7.3 hour round. During this time, the vehicle is parked at the kerbside for four and a half hours, approximately 60 per cent of the round, while the driver is out delivering parcels on foot, walking around 7.9km, with up to 25% of the consignees being above ground level in buildings.

“In the first trial of this portering system, a round of 190 parcels was organised with approximately half delivered by four porters while the driver made all of the collections and deliveries of large, heavy items or multiple items to the same address.

“The porters walked 5km to deliver their packages taking three hours and 40 minutes, each delivering two 140 litre bag loads, with a total round time reduction of 33 per cent.”