Sainsbury’s has launched the trial of the UK’s first zero emission grocery delivery service by electric cargo bike.
A fleet of five zero emission bikes will be setting off across South London from the Streatham Common store, delivering up to 100 orders a day to local customers who’ve shopped for groceries online.
Sainsbury’s director of online Clodagh Moriarty said: “We’re always looking for new ways to make sure we can best serve our customers and this trial will help us explore whether there might be a more flexible way to deliver Sainsbury’s groceries to those who live in busy cities.”
It is launching the trial with bike provider e-cargobikes.com. The purpose built bikes have enough capacity to carry several customer orders at a time.
The trial will test whether delivering groceries by electric cargo bike could be more efficient.
E-cargobikes.com’s logistics and retail expert and director Professor Alan Braithwaite said: “Research has shown that electric cargo bikes can provide substantial environmental, congestion and customer service benefits.
"This development is exciting because it takes those benefits into the grocery home delivery space which is totally new. I am sure that Sainsbury customers will embrace this opportunity and the benefits.”
The bikes will be able to make the most of cycle lanes in order to avoid traffic, especially during peak delivery hours such as midweek mornings and park closer to customers’ homes than is often possible for traditional delivery vans.
Sainsbury’s will use routing technology to determine which orders are delivered by a traditional van or by electric cargo bike.
The order will then be delivered during the customer’s chosen time slot by Sainsbury’s branded bikes and riders.
E-cargobikes.com’s managing director James FitzGerald said: “By taking existing e-cargobike technology and putting it to the test in a new market, we’re reimagining grocery deliveries and exploring a more sustainable transport system.”
If successful, the trial could be rolled out to further areas across the UK.