Smart Transport

Parcel lockers could be key tool to aid last mile delivery decarbonisation

InPost locker

Parcel lockers can help cut last mile delivery CO2 emission by as much as 13,845 kg a year, according to a new report by Last Mile Experts.

According to the report – Green Last Mile Europe 2022 – current courier express parcel (CEP) industry growth, stemming from a fast-developing e-commerce market, has resulted in a surge in the carbon footprint emitted by increased door-to-door deliveries.

However, it says that the “widest possible” roll-out of out-of-home deliveries and the education of consumers and policymakers could reduce the sector’s carbon footprint by more than 91% in just a decade.

Jason Tavaria, chief executive at InPost UK, said: “This report serves as a stark reminder of our collective responsibility to ensure a sustainable future.”

He explained that there have been “noticeable steps taken towards more sustainable habits” across the world. However, he added: “Ultimately, consumers and businesses alike need to be able to do more to cut carbon emissions and meet net-zero commitments.

“As the ecommerce industry goes from strength-to-strength, we need to work collaboratively to achieve these goals — finding greener last mile solutions that ensure our impact on the climate is front and centre and encouraging consumers towards these. This is something we are committed to leading in order to secure a greener future for all.”

The report’s authors point to InPost parcel lockers as the most sustainable delivery mode in the out-of-home model.

For instance, it says that they not only make final-mile logistics more efficient (ensuring parcels get to their recipients first time), they can also cut CO2 emissions by up to two thirds compared to home deliveries and reduce local noise pollution and congestion.

InPost currently operates a network of more than 3,000 parcel lockers across the country.

Looking ahead, further development and increased use of the parcel locker network will continue to contribute to vehicle traffic reduction in cities — improving air quality and protecting the climate – it says.  

Rafał Brzoska, founder and president of the InPost Group, said: " Parcel lockers are the most environmentally friendly form of online shopping delivery.

“They eliminate emissions of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of CO², but also significantly reduce the traffic of courier cars on the streets of European cities.”

Brzoska explains that one courier distributing parcels to parcel lockers delivers about 1,000 parcels per working day by visiting four to five addresses, while with the traditional door-to-door method, one courier delivers an average of only 75 parcels per working day.

“In 2021 alone, our solutions saved nearly 100 million litres of fuel across Europe, and with continued growth in the number of parcel lockers the fuel savings will only increase,” he continued.

“The network of parcel lockers is so large that customers in large cities do not need to access them by vehicle, because they are located an average of 200-300 meters from their nearest device.”

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