ParcelHero says delivery companies should start ‘urban mining’

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International courier calls for radical rethink for urban deliveries

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ParcelHero urges the adoption of 'urban mining' to fill empty van journeys

Return van journeys can transport valuable recyclable waste back to a hub

Have you ever wondered why your deliveries can’t all arrive together? Or why the delivery van could not also take away your ancient TV or past-it PC, rather than run back to its depot empty? Pioneering international courier ParcelHero says delivery companies can help green our cities by following Holland’s ‘urban mining’ initiative.

Two remarkable pilot schemes are already running in the Dutch towns of Nijmegen and Maastricht operating a ‘Freight Circle’ service. The service, available for retailers and individuals, ensures deliveries are sent to a central freight hub, where they are bundled and delivered to the customer at a convenient time.

ParcelHero’s David Jinks MILT says: ‘The really innovative idea is that the journeys include “urban mining”: the removal and disposal of valuable waste. The delivery to the customer carries goods from the hub at an agreed time, and the return journey can transport valuable recyclable waste back to the hub, where it is collected by a partner waste management company.’

David explains: ‘The idea of ensuring the delivery vehicle’s return journey back to the hub is not wasted, by building in a reverse logistics operation, makes enormous sense. It means items such as batteries, old shavers and obsolete PCs can be easily disposed of by householders, and safely reclaimed for recycling.’

The Dutch Freight Circle scheme is being supported by the EU funded project LaMiLo (Last Mile Logistics). However, ParcelHero argues it is equally relevant to the UK and the US. David says: ‘The UK is already on the brink of such services, the London Borough of Camden’s freight consolidation scheme is a good example. As the idea of freight hubs develop it will be easy to incorporate “urban mining” type recycling initiatives.’

David concludes: ‘During the Olympic Games London operated freight hubs with great success. There’s no reason this model shouldn’t be extended to other cities across the UK and the US, as well as across Europe. Research has already proved that home deliveries have a far smaller carbon footprint than a traditional car trip to the shops. The delivery industry should embrace new ideas such as freight hubs and “urban mining” to ensure our cities are even greener in the future.’

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