Sustainable supplies from Billingsgate Market help reduce carbon emissions in London

The City of London Corporation, DHL Supply Chain and Ford Pro are conducting a sustainable delivery pilot at London’s Billingsgate Market to explore ways to reduce traffic, improve air quality and deliver a “better customer experience”.

In a statement published on its website Thursday (July 28), DHL UK said 40 market traders are participating in the trials, which started in March and target deliveries from the market to commercial customers in the capital.

Many merchants rely on vans to make these deliveries, but for much of the day these vans are not in use. The City Corporation identified the opportunity to consolidate some of those rides, avoiding duplicate rides and reducing the need for vans.

Funded by the City Corporation, which owns and operates Billingsgate Market, the trial will include DHL Supply Chain and Ford Pro vehicles, software and maintenance support.

The 18-week partnership has uncovered significant opportunities that benefit both business and the environment. CO2 emissions are estimated to have fallen by 37% compared to the normal course of business, with 949 fewer car journeys on busy roads in central London, resulting in a total reduction of 23,961 kilometres. This has also resulted in lower costs and improved efficiency for participating companies.

This pilot is part of the City Corporation’s goal to reduce the environmental impact of its wholesale markets through innovation, including the planned relocation of the Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields markets to Dagenham Dock. A charging point for electric vehicles has been placed in the parking lot of the Markt.

Chris Hayward, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “Our historic wholesale markets have served Londoners for hundreds of years. But to meet the climate challenge, we cannot continue with business as usual.

“This pilot has shown that using different delivery modes not only reduces emissions and traffic, but can also provide a better service to both our market traders and their customers.

“Our Markets Co-location Program – which will co-locate Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields in Dagenham Dock – offers much greater opportunities for innovation in low-carbon transport and for greatly reducing road trips to and from the markets.”

Tutu Akinkoye, GoGreen Lead for DHL Supply Chain UK and Ireland, added: “We are delighted with the results of the trial, which support our approach to not only ‘clean burn’ through the use of sustainable alternative fuels and powertrains, but ‘burn less’ by reducing the energy and fuel consumption of our operations.

“We are equally delighted with our engagement with the merchants and partners, and the future direction this strategic project will bring to customers of London’s wholesale markets: the wide choice of goods, the range of delivery options and the more sustainable way products will bring the restaurants, wholesalers and reach consumers in and around London.

“Most exciting of all, the solution is reproducible in other cities facing similar challenges, both in the UK and globally.”

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