Robotic delivery options provided the biggest reductions in carbon emissions, followed by the collection of orders in stores with a micrologistics center (MFC) and the switch to an electric vehicle (EV). The frequency of purchases and the “chain of trips” also proved to be key factors in reducing emissions, according to the study. In the World Economic Forum study I mentioned above, the researchers described how a series of measures within reach, such as the use of electric vehicles for deliveries and better load distribution, can reduce emissions from last-mile deliveries by 30 percent compared to a situation where everything remains the same. Engineers at the University of Washington have found that using a food delivery service can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least half compared to individual trips from households to the store.
Last month, Google introduced a shopping delivery service experiment in the San Francisco Bay Area, and former students from the University of Washington recently launched the Geniusdelivery grocery service in Seattle.