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A new digital delivery service being trialled by Ford in partnership with Gnewt by Menzies Distribution will efficiently coordinate multiple modes of transport including pedestrian and – one day – bicycle couriers.

Ford’s new cloud-based software identifies optimum places for van drivers to pull over near multiple drop-off points; pedestrian and, one day, cycle couriers perform last leg of delivery.

It has the potential to help cut traffic, reduce emissions, and improve delivery times.

“Our goal is to keep larger vehicles like delivery vans operating in the high ‐load, less‐congested environments in which they perform best,” said Tom Thompson, project lead, Ford Mobility. “However, for the last mile of a journey into an urban area, where congestion and lack of parking can be a challenge, it makes sense to offload deliveries to more nimble, efficient and cost‐effective modes of transport.”

Gnewt is a sustainable urban parcel courier specialising in zero-emission last‐mile delivery services.

In the London-based trial “last‐mile” delivery service will be driven by Ford’s intelligent cloud‐based, multi‐modal routing and logistics software MoDe:Link, that manages all aspects of parcel delivery from depot to doorstep.

This could help couriers, fleet managers, logistics and food delivery companies optimise processes and increase van utilisation, saving time and money while boosting capacity.

The service could also improve customer experience by offering improved delivery windows and reducing costs, speeding time from order to delivery by enabling vans to make more frequent round trips back to the depot. In addition, it could contribute to healthier streets and reduced traffic in major cities, cutting congestion around valuable kerb space where vans typically load and unload.

Ford is committed to tackling urban mobility challenges, in particular the deliveries of goods and services, through innovation, technology and partnerships.

The “warehouse on wheels” concept is designed to be compatible both with Ford vans and those of other manufacturers.