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Ultra Low Emission Fleets: Inspiration for Courier Companies

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The future of courier companies is looking decidedly green, with the government’s new Road to Zero strategy outlining an ambitious plan for the transport industry. It pledges to give dedicated financial support for green vehicles, slash UK emission levels, and make all new cars and vans ultra low emission by 2050.

So, what can fleet managers do to cut their emissions, in line with the government’s aims? How can they ensure their company is at the forefront of the low emission future?

This article looks at three inspiring case studies of courier companies that are paving the way to the greener future.


UPS: Lots of Green at a Low Cost

By merging energy storage and smart-grid capabilities, UPS developed a new charging system that facilitates the recharge of a fleet of electric vehicles without the need for upgrading the power supply grid. In other words, they can now recharge their entire fleet without any substantial change to their existing power infrastructure.

This new tech, thought to be the first of its kind in the world, was developed with the support of the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). While over 60 electric vehicles already operate out of UPS’s London base, this new and significant step should allow the company to go 100% electric in the coming years.


Royal Mail: The Royal Standard

With nearly 50,000 vehicles on the road, the Royal Mail launched not one but two low emission initiatives in 2017. On the one hand, they launched a fleet of electric vans, built by Peugeot Partner. On the other, they trialled a number of delivery vehicles (7.5 tonnes) built by the pioneering electric manufacturer, Arrival. The results of that trial are now being eagerly awaited by industry professionals across the country.


Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare: Driving the Future

The medical distributor, Drive DeVilbiss, partnered up with the Energy Saving Trust to enact a package of low carbon programmes, at the same time as doubling their fleet. Alongside strategic developments such as implementing more efficient routes, increasing driver training and producing a green-orientated driver handbook, they switched older vans to models that complied with the Euro 6 regulations. They also installed monitoring devices in all vehicles.

As a result, the company have achieved:

• A reduction in speeding offences of over a quarter
• A 20% cutback in fuel use per van
• A fall in carbon emissions per vehicle from 9.78 to 8.40 tonnes, across the course of just one year.


Achieving the holy grail of all couriers, companies like the Royal Mail, Drive DeVilbiss and UPS have managed to combine green credentials with sound economic and business sense. As the Road to Zero strategy unfolds over the next few years, what will your company do to achieve that sought-after balance?
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier companies and self-employed drivers in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships. 

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