Green Last Mile – what is it and how does it affect T&L?

There is no doubt that transportation has a negative impact on the environment. However, with the right changes to the logistics chain, its impact can be significantly reduced. Here we discuss one of the latest trends, namely the Green Last Mile, and how it affects the T&L industry.

What is the Green Last Mile?

The Green Last Mile is a reference to the Last Mile Delivery, i.e. the final leg of delivery. It is extremely important, as it has the greatest impact on delivery time and the recipient satisfaction. Estimates show that it accounts for approximately 40–45% of operational costs.

With the growing awareness of the need to take care of the natural environment and the resulting changes to laws and standards, the T&L industry is striving to be more eco-friendly. This is because deliveries, both on a global and local scale, generate immense CO2 emissions. The Green Last Mile is an initiative to reduce the impact of deliveries to final recipients.

Sustainable supply chains include better route planning, reducing empty runs, and reducing the use of paper and plastic (e.g. packaging, waybills, documents). However, if logistics is to be more eco-friendly, changes are necessary at the last mile.

The Green Last Mile and eco-logistics – what are the new trends in T&L?

Last year’s Report by Last Mile Experts showed that solving the last mile emissions problem is difficult. The growing popularity of electric vehicles in cities is set to become the dominant trend now. However, fleets will only be replaced gradually due to the high costs involved and the insufficiently robust infrastructure, most importantly the small number of charging stations.

One of the most important issues is optimising deliveries in the B2C channel. The most efficient solution, which is also well-received by customers, is the option to pick up deliveries out of home, i.e. at parcel pickup machines and PUDO (Pick Up Drop Off) points. In addition, carriers are highly likely to warm up to the idea of introducing cargo bikes and micro-hubs, which is already happening in Austria.