Amazon to deliver parcels by cargo bike or on foot to customers in London

The delivery giant said the changes will eliminate thousands of van journeys in the capital each year

An Amazon employee delivers parcels using a new e-cargo bike in London. PA
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Amazon customers in central London will have their orders delivered via cargo bike or on foot instead of by vehicle in a first for the online retailer’s operations in the UK.

The change is part of a companywide effort to reduce emissions and will see its van journeys through the capital slashed.

The delivery giant said its new “micro-mobility” hub in London will lead to a million more customer deliveries annually, while others are expected to open across the UK in the coming months.

Catching on to a trend among industries, Amazon has in recent years taken steps to electrify its fleet and now has 1,000 electric vans on the roads of Britain. It has pledged to deliver half its shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030 and all by 2040.

In March, it also announced the launch of five 37-tonne electric heavy goods vehicles operating from centres in Tilbury and Milton Keynes, and replacing diesel lorries.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic Amazon sales grew amid a boom in people shopping online during lockdowns. But the company has come under pressure from climate campaigners to reduce emissions and to set an example for other businesses.

John Boumphrey, Amazon's UK country manager, said: “Amazon is driving towards a global net-zero carbon future.”

“One way we're doing that is through the transformation of our transportation networks.

New e-cargo bikes will be used by Amazon workers to delivery orders to customers in London. PA

“Our new e-cargo bikes, walkers and growing electric vehicle delivery fleet will help us make more zero emission customer deliveries than ever before across London and the UK in the coming months.”

The new hubs coincides with plans to double the number of solar energy projects at UK sites by 2024.

Amazon said more than 30,000 new modular solar panels will be installed on its facilities in Manchester, Coalville, Haydock, Bristol and Milton Keynes by the end of the year.

The announcement comes less than a month after the company said it would begin delivering parcels by drone for the first time later this year. The scheme will see shoppers in Lockeford, a town in central California, receive their orders by air to their homes or offices.

The new delivery method may be extended to other locations in the future, it said.

Amazon conducted a trial of drone deliveries in Cambridge in the UK in 2016, which saw orders arrive at their destination within 13 minutes of being sent.

Updated: July 05, 2022, 8:52 AM