There’s a common dilemma in the logistics sector: quick deliveries or environmental deliveries? Minimising carbon emissions is, of course, crucial. Yet consumers still prioritise rapid delivery over any other consideration.
Jam-packed schedules, work, kids, travel, socialising… the rush of daily life means convenience is key. The COVID-19 years reinforced this, too. With traditional retail off-limits, quick and same-day deliveries gained fresh importance. Now, it’s tricky for customers to settle for anything less. Even if it would mean reducing their order’s carbon footprint.
But what if green and convenient didn’t have to be a choice? What if it could be a complementary combination, instead? Bring route optimisation into the mix and this becomes possible. Here, we’ll explore how route optimisation can help you give customers ultimate convenience while still reducing emissions.
Go green and convenient with route optimisation
Yes, customers are doubling down on convenience. That trend looks set to stay. But hold up — there’s a key caveat. At Gordon, we’re seeing that customers aren’t happy with convenience that comes at the price of non-sustainable solutions. So, the answer isn’t putting more vehicles on the road just to achieve rapid deliveries. Instead, intelligent route optimisation software can help. It’s the most efficient way of planning how to get your deliveries to customers as speedily as possible.
In reality, that means with the fewest routes, fewest drivers and fewest stops. The more efficient your route planning, the more quick and same-day delivery options you can offer. Intelligent routing software adds another layer of convenience, too. With your routes optimised to the last detail, you’ll be able to update customers with accurate notifications. That’s the level of real-time convenience customers want!
But what about the green side of things? Handily, optimising your route planning simultaneously reduces emissions. Logically, using fewer vehicles overall reduces fuel consumption. So does planning routes so your fleet can drive efficiently and avoid idling in traffic. With a smart route optimisation platform, you’d be able to factor in eco-driving techniques to support this. Likewise, ensuring each vehicle is filled to the maximum reduces overall emissions. With intelligent route optimisation software, you can incorporate all these factors and more into your route planning.
Combining convenience and eco-friendly: customers don’t have to choose
Beyond ensuring rapid deliveries with minimum vehicles, there are further nuances to green route optimisation. Ensuring convenience, while keeping fleets’ carbon footprints to a minimum. So let’s dive into a few here:
Delivering fresh goods with active cooling
Ready-to-consume food and beverage deliveries are peak convenience for customers. Think smoothies, fruit baskets, meal kits or groceries. Quick delivery is key so that the goods stay fresh. Timing is crucial for customers, too. Planned well, they’ll receive their delivery to suit their personal schedule. And if that delivery provider uses green cooling techniques? Even better.
With refrigerated deliveries, energy-guzzling passive cooling is still the industry standard. In passive cooling, ice packs or similar substances are used to keep goods chilled. It’s not at all efficient, though. Producing ice and cooling gels uses a lot of energy. Then packing them in plastics, styrofoam and other single-use materials just adds to the carbon footprint.
Active cooling technology, though, is changing the game. This involves using a vehicle’s battery to power its refrigeration system, not single-use ice, gels and extra packaging. Producing up to 20x less carbon dioxide, active cooling’s advantages are crystal clear.
Efficient delivery, collaborative delivery
Often, there’s consumer guilt associated with at-home food delivery. People can feel like it’s hard to justify the convenience. As though they should make the effort to go to the shops, rather than having a vehicle come out to deliver to them.
However, optimised home deliveries can be the greener option. Rather than every individual customer jumping in their car, one (perhaps electric) vehicle could drive one optimised route to drop off all the orders in the area. What’s more, this single delivery vehicle could carry goods from several retailers. So even if all the local households had bought from a range of shops, one vehicle would carry it all. At Gordon, that’s what we call collaborative delivery — a model we’re constantly evolving.
For example, we’re shaping an exciting last-mile/first-mile approach. For our fleet, the last mile is often out in rural areas. For small-scale local producers of meat, dairy and more, though, this zone is the first mile. A stage in the retail chain that can be costly — and far from green — to ship their produce past. So we’re offering our refrigerated delivery trucks to do the job! Once they’ve unloaded their deliveries, they’ve got the space to pick up local farmers’ goods while passing by. They’re then stored in our active cooling distribution centres, ready to be delivered to customers.
Increased convenience, decreased food waste
Let’s circle back to the idea of convenience guilt that we touched on above. We explored how, in fact, ordering at home can be the greener option, if delivery providers optimise their routes. Yet there are also other fascinating, grocery-related factors to consider.
Did you know that online grocery shopping can reduce impulse buys? Without the overload of everything on the shelves in front of us, we gain clarity to focus on what we need. This smart purchasing helps reduce food waste, which has a significant green impact. Delivery providers can also play an active role in reducing food waste. At Gordon, we’re driven to take part in projects like Resvinn to help this happen.
Go for eco-friendly and convenient with Gordon Delivery
Through smart route optimisation, groundbreaking technology and collaborative innovations, we’re bringing customers rapid and green deliveries in one. We’re proud to be sector leaders in climate-conscious delivery!
For our industry customers, peace of mind comes with the knowledge that Gordon prioritises green goals. No matter whether it’s our tech offering or our fleet itself, climate considerations are built in as standard. For the end customers we serve, we’re motivated to keep seeing their smiles as they receive their delivery right on time — and it’s an e-vehicle that’s arrived!
To find out more about how we can help you optimise your deliveries, reach out to our team here.