Cross River Partnership (CRP), a non-profit partnership organisation, has launched the London Light Freight Walking Trial; UPS’s first walking freight trial on public land.
Walking freight is a mode of logistics where foot-based porters play a key role in deliveries and collections. UPS is conducting the trial in Fitzrovia daily, delivering packages to both local residents and businesses on foot utilising an electric-assisted trolley developed by Fernhay.
The trial, which runs until September 2024, aims to serve last mile deliveries and support the reduction of emissions and congestion in Fitzrovia.
Overall kilometres travelled by light goods vehicles(LGVs) could be reduced by up to 0.4% across Greater London (i.e. one in every 250km) if walking freight was expanded to its full potential in the CAZ (Central Activities Zone). (CRP’s Walking Freight Feasibility Study, May 2022).
CRP said the economic benefits of walking freight could be £37m per year, due to decongestion, decarbonisation, improved air quality, minimise noise pollution and reduced road wear.
Furthermore, Defra’s Emission Factors Toolkit estimates that expanding walking freight could reduce London’s carbon emissions by 4.7 kilotonnes per year.
CRP wants to transform space across the logistics sector in London, to deliver solutions that make London fairer, greener and safer. The London Light Freight Walking Trial supports CRP’s vision to make London a better place to live, work and visit. CRP will be monitoring the impacts of the trial with UPS’s data from the pilot.
CRP has been working with The Fitzrovia Partnership, London Borough of Camden, UPS and Heal’s to bring this trial to life, it forms part of the Defra-funded Clean Air Logistics for London project.
Fiona Coull, senior programme manager, CRP, said: “Walking freight has real potential to reduce congestion and improve air quality, particularly in central, high density locations such as Fitzrovia.
“We look forward to understanding the impacts of the trial, as it’s really important to explore these innovative logistics solutions and share any learnings gained.”
Artur Drenk, international sustainability director, UPS, added: “We are continuing to expand our alternative fuel fleet as we work towards reducing emissions per package. We are excited to introduce the electric-assisted walkers, developed by Fernhay, to the streets of Fitzrovia as part of our efforts to serve our customers in urban areas in a more sustainable way.”