Ford has launched a pilot trial of a last-mile delivery service in London that could combine logistic solutions using light commercial vehicles with cycle and even pedestrian couriers. The trial will be conducted in collaboration with parcel delivery courier Gnewt by Menzies Distribution.
Ford wants to create a digital parcel courier service claiming to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries. Ford claims its logistics software can identify the best places for van drivers to park near multiple drop-off points. When this cloud-based software proves successful the service will also link up with pedestrian cycle couriers to perform the last leg of delivery.
During the trial, Gnewt’s last‑mile delivery service will be driven by Ford’s multi‑modal routing and logistics software MoDe:Link. The software that manages parcel delivery from the depot to doorstep. Ford claims its service will create a ‘warehouse on wheels’ where delivery vans act as dynamic delivery hubs that collect orders from a depot and then briefly stop at strategic locations determined to be the most efficient for each batch of orders. The software platform will coordinate with nearby foot couriers, or potentially with bicycle couriers, drones and autonomous robots in the future, to complete the last leg of each delivery.