News & Blog
2019 has been a successful year for Gnewt by Menzies Distribution, and as we reach our 10th anniversary, we are grateful and proud to have our work recognised by several awards nominations, shortlistings and wins! We’ve also worked with some brilliant partners including the Mayor’s office at City Hall, Transport for London and several universities.
Climate change is not industry specific, and all sectors have had to adapt and innovate to find more carbon efficient ways of working. Freight and deliveries are central to supporting London’s economy, with half the value of the capital’s household expenditure relying on it. However, congestion and air pollution remain one of the biggest problems the city faces.
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution, which has the largest all electric fleet in the UK, has been changing the face of urban delivery for nearly a decade and so far this year has driven over 300,000 emission free miles, saving 189 tonnes of carbon. Environmental concerns have raced to the top of the international agenda this year and we are proud to be pioneers in the delivery of parcels by all-electric fleet. However, being pioneers of such a project comes with the responsibility to continually innovate and lead, a role we have relished over the past year.
Given the scale of our operation, we are acutely aware of the strain that charging our vehicles puts on the grid at peak times. Therefore, not only have we installed the UK’s largest private charging infrastructure but we have also developed a Vehicle to Grid (V2G) solution that maximises efficient use of the grid’s power in a “smart” way, by feeding energy from the vehicles back to the grid at peak times and charging the vehicles during off-peak hours. The 10 V2G units currently under installation at our hub in Bow makes us the proud owners of the largest V2G operation in London.
Carbon emissions from vehicles are not the only cause for concern, plastic is also wreaking havoc in our oceans and for our wildlife. Partnered with our client ASOS, we have started wrapping our vans using environmentally friendly, non-PVC material with ASOS’ signature parcel design and slogan, ‘fresh style, fresher air’, to showcase the efforts the company is making to clean up London’s severely polluted air.
Menzies Distribution is now looking at rolling out the electric delivery service to other cities where congestion and pollution are a growing issue and have recently acquired a further 48 electric vehicles.
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution is delighted that our hard work has been recognised by a number of award shortlistings and wins. To name but a few:
The Logistics Awards - Shortlisted
Fleet 2020 Awards – Shortlisted
Fleet Hero Awards – Shortlisted
Green Fleet Awards – Shortlisted
Trans Tech Awards – Won
Corp 2020 – Won
Fleet Hero Awards – Shortlisted
WhatVan – Shortlisted
Institute of Couriers, Driver Excellence award – Won
Institute of Couriers, Clean Air Award – Won
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution, the UK’s largest 100% commercial electric vehicle (EV) delivery service, will trial the use of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology to help power its 70-strong fleet. The trial, part of E-Flex, the broader V2G demonstrator project led by Cisco, will explore the commercial opportunity this technology presents through smarter electricity use and the ability for EVs to release energy back into the grid when they are not in use.
Gnewt is a pioneer in electric delivery and this year it celebrates its 10th year providing urban delivery and continued innovation. Having continually expanded its electric fleet, Gnewt is addressing the way that it charges its vehicles to be even more environmentally friendly and efficient.
Currently, Gnewt has two main depots in East London, with a total of 60 EV interconnected smart chargers. As its fleet of EVs continues to expand, Gnewt is looking for a scalable solution that enables it to deal with high demand for electricity at peak times. Using V2G, Gnewt can manage the provision of electricity across its fleet more proactively, charging vehicles at times of low-demand in preparation for busier ones.
“Over ten years, Gnewt has delivered 10,000,000 parcels across London and minimising the environmental impact of our fleet is one of our core values and fundamental to our strategy. Using EVs, we’ve reduced Co2 emissions by 67%.” said Sam Clarke, Founder and Head of Business Development, Gnewt. “While EVs are critical for a cleaner future, the intense use of the national grid is something we’re looking to reduce our role in. Through E-Flex, we’re able to sustainably carry on with our day-to-day operations, with charging our fleet becoming a less energy dependent exchange especially at peak times.”
E-Flex will install bidirectional chargers at Gnewt’s main depot in East London. With V2G infrastructure in place, electricity can be bought and taken from the grid at off-peak times when it is less expensive. It can also be sold and released back to the grid when energy is in high demand and consumption is more expensive.
“Reducing carbon emissions has never been more of a priority for businesses than it is right now”, said Maria Hernandez, Head of Innovation, Cisco UK & Ireland. “From a commercial standpoint, V2G technology can transform the way urban logistics are powered and is a win-win for fleets and distributors. Reaching carbon neutrality is vital for many organisations, but additionally, E-Flex hopes to prove to businesses the commercial viability of a V2G infrastructure, helping to get the most out of fleets across the country.”
The National Courier Awards recognise the best of the best in our industry. They celebrate excellence in companies large and small, regional and national. This year’s awards were held at the IoD, Pall Mall, London on Tuesday 15th October.
We are pleased to announce that our emission free innovations, along with our driver excellence were recognised with awards.
Miklos Istok Wins Driver Award (Four Wheels)
Miklos works from Bow and has been a driver with Gnewt by Menzies Distribution for over five years. He is particularly exceptional because his attention to detail is unparalleled; careful data entry, signature names clear, always confirming on duty/off duty, delivery always completed.
As well as being a consummate professional and highly efficient at delivery, he not only cleans the inside and outside of his van on a daily basis but even cleans the depot particularly around the drivers’ collection point.
He has delivered thousands of parcels emission-free over the years, with a politely quiet disposition, a smile on his face and never a grumble. He is a credit to our business.
Clean Air Award for Gnewt in partnership with GLA
The end of 2019 will mark the completion of a low emission freight project that trials solutions to cut emissions and congestion from commercial delivery vehicles in urban areas. The findings from the project with Gnewt by Menzies Distribution and the GLA will provide recommendations for the wider roll-out of electric vehicle technology across the freight industry.
The Gnewt/Mayor of London’s Commercial Vehicle Trial compares the performance of innovative electric delivery vans to equivalent diesels. The project, which is part of the Low Emission Freight Trials, funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK concludes later this year and will tie into celebrations and activity that marks Gnewt’s 10 year anniversary as the pioneer in EVs.
We are proud to be leading the way and participating in key trials and projects.
Gnewt wins Corp2020: Sustainable Logistics Company of the Year
This week we were also awarded, Sustainable Logistics Company of the Year by Corp Today, a business magazine that focuses on emerging as well as the leading fastest growing companies.
As Europe pledges to meet its climate targets by 2050, London is at a key juncture. On the one hand, it is a congested city that faces environmental and health risks because of vehicle pollution. On the other hand, it can lay claim to being a city with more than 20,000 electric vehicles, 1,700 electric taxis and Europe’s largest electric bus fleet.
In order to continue the momentum of transforming London into a green city, we at Gnewt by Menzies Distribution have been doing our bit and leading the charge of green parcel delivery in the city for nearly 10 years. We have been working with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and City Hall to tackle what is a major block to the Capital’s green revolution – poor EV infrastructure.
Sadiq Khan, along with City Hall, has been addressing the issue of urban congestion and pollution through the formation of the world’s first Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Taskforce. The EV Taskforce brings together stakeholders, such as Gnewt, from across the city – with a shared aim of encouraging electric vehicle use in the Capital, and tackling our air pollution, health and climate crisis. The lack of EV infrastructure is a significant obstacle to creating a cleaner city, and the EV Taskforce aims to make it easier for Londoners to switch from diesel to electric cars and consequently reduce toxic traffic emissions.
On 17th June, Gnewt by Menzies Distribution, represented by founder and Head of Business Development, Sam Clarke, attended an EV Taskforce event, where the Mayor set out London’s plan for the future of electric vehicles. The plan seeks to implement a network of rapid charging hubs across the city, with the first EV charging hub, set to be operational by the end of 2019. In order to maximise the benefits of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, strategically placed charging hubs are crucial as drivers need to be able to charge a car as seamlessly as they could re-fill a tank. Included in the plan is the intention to open the first hub in the heart of the Square Mile by the end of 2019.
The next step of this process should look towards the needs of commercial vehicles, as freight and deliveries are central to supporting London’s economy, with half of the capital’s household expenditure relying on it. In order to support commercial vehicles in the green transition, the Government and industry should work together to create larger out of town charging stations that use rapid charging technology and have multiple charging points that can be used for electric cars and commercial vehicles. As electric vehicles now get ranges of over 300 miles, commercial vehicles can charge up outside of town – freeing up space on street charging points and city centre hubs – and make deliveries and return to base on one full charge.
If the UK and Europe are planning to take climate targets seriously, more needs to be done to encourage individuals and corporates to adopt full-electric vehicles, particularly those road-based companies such as couriers and parcel delivery firms. The lack of a commercially viable electric charging infrastructure is holding back this progress. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Sadiq and the EV Taskforce to position London as a leader in low carbon emissions.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is doing everything in his power to tackle London’s toxic air and wants London to be the greenest city in the world. His strategies set out a vision for transitioning to a zero emission future, one that is zero-carbon with a zero emission transport network by 2050.
Accelerating the switch to electric vehicles is critical to delivering on the Mayor’s vision. In May 2018 he established a world-first Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Taskforce with experts from the public and private sector representing business, energy, infrastructure, government and London boroughs. Over the past year, the Taskforce has been supported by contributions from more than 350 stakeholders from over 140 different organisations to help unlock barriers to expanding charging infrastructure and accelerating the switch to EVs in London.
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution was invited to join the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, for the launch of their new EV Infrastructure Delivery plan earlier this week. Gnewt has been carrying out a trial in partnership with the Mayor of London that will evaluate the performance, impact and commercial viability of using electric vehicles for last-mile deliveries in central London to support this plan.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan made Gnewt by Menzies Distribution his first stop and we shared the benefits and the real difference we have and continue to make to last mile delivery in London.
The directory lists businesses in and around London that deliver using vehicles that are ultra-low emission, from cargo bikes to electric vehicles, and it also supports the Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone that came into effect in April.
As part of the DEFRA-funded Clean Air Villages programme, CRP are excited to launch an online Ultra-Low Emission Supplier Directory. The directory lists businesses in and around London that deliver using vehicles that are ultra-low emission, from cargo bikes to electric vehicles, and it also supports the Mayor of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone that came into effect in April.
Switching suppliers to those that use cleaner vehicles will improve air quality, a prominent issue as over 9000 Londoners are dying prematurely yearly because of toxic air (Mayor of London1). Working with the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Lewisham and Islington the directory has a localised element for 5 ‘villages’ as part of the Clean Air Villages programme. These Air Quality Focus Areas are Archway, Bunhill/Old Street, Fulham Town Centre, Deptford High Street and Lewisham Town Centre. To be included in the directory, suppliers guaranteed they would deploy ultra-low emission vehicles’ at least 80% of the time when delivering/collecting in the Clean Air Village concerned.
Building on the success of the directory and Clean Air Villages, CRP looks forward to working with the London Borough of Lewisham in partnership with the London Boroughs of Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council, Cadogan Estates (landowners), and Euston Town BID on the Clean Air Villages 2 project that was recently granted funding by DEFRA for 2019-20.
Tanja Dalle-Muenchmeyer, Principal Programme Manager at Cross River Partnership, believes the directory is “an innovative tool that makes it easier for businesses, large or small, to do their bit towards cleaning up London’s air. We hope to add more businesses and other villages into our directory in the coming months.”
To search the directory please visit: http://crossriverpartnership.org/directory/ For further
Pioneering all-electric delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution is set to deliver its 500,000th parcel in a ‘green’ delivery contract for leading fashion retailer ASOS
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution has saved 82.3 tonnes of CO2 through its fleet of all-electric vans
Milestone comes as the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone starts in London, heralding a boost for sustainable transport
London, 8th April 2019, Gnewt by Menzies Distribution is set to deliver its 500,000th parcel for ASOS through a pioneering delivery programme that lets customers have their purchase sent to their home via an all-electric van.
The partnership between ASOS and Gnewt by Menzies Distribution has so far saved more than 80 tonnes of CO2 compared to standard delivery vans.
The milestone comes on the day when London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone launches, marking a fresh boost for low and zero-emission transport and deliveries in the Capital, and creating a blue-print that Gnewt believes is likely to be replicated in other UK cities.
Gnewt by Menzies Distribution delivers ASOS orders using its all electric van fleet. The parcels are trunked (bulk delivered) by Menzies Distribution from ASOS’s warehouse in Barnsley to the Gnewt hub in Bow, East London. The individual deliveries in London are then made from the Bow hub using electric vans with Gnewt now delivering in excess of 4,000 parcels per day.
ASOS customers within the central London Congestion Zone are automatically serviced by this eco-friendly delivery service as well as benefiting from Gnewt’s live track and trace service, text and email notifications, Proof of Delivery (POD) and an automated redelivery service. In addition, an industry first is the communication to the end user telling them their parcel is being delivered by electric vehicle.
A number of Gnewt vans have also been wrapped using an environmentally friendly, non-PVC material with ASOS’ signature parcel design and slogan, ‘fresh style, fresher air’, to showcase the efforts the company is making to clean up London’s severely polluted air.
Gnewt has been changing the face of urban delivery for nearly a decade and last year alone, delivered over a million parcels, reducing CO2 emissions by 67% per parcel.
Whilst it is currently only customers in central London who can be guaranteed emission-free last mile delivery, Gnewt by Menzies Distribution is expanding the area it services and is exploring the roll out of the service in other cities where air pollution and traffic congestion is a problem.
Sam Clarke, Head of Business Development at Gnewt by Menzies Distribution said: “ASOS is a highly innovative brand with social responsibility and sustainability at its heart. Air pollution is a major issue in London with the legal air pollution limit being reached just one month into this year. Similarly, with the Ultra Low Emission Zone starting in April, drivers and brands will be forced to confront the problem with our air quality.
“Gnewt is proud to provide a service which is emission-free at the last mile, reduces congestion and doesn’t compromise on speed and quality of service. We are delighted to partner with ASOS, enabling them to deliver a zero-emission final mile in the Central London Congestion Zone.”
The van livery was developed through a collaborative three-way partnership with Gnewt, ASOS and RGVA to produce an instantly recognisable, non-PVC, environmentally friendly wrap. The aim of the livery was to create a distinctive ASOS branded van which highlights our commitment to last mile, emission-free delivery to all of its clients within London.
Whilst being more environmentally friendly, the non-PVC wrap is also high quality and very durable lasting for over a decade. The material is phthalate-free and conforms to a wide range of environments for long-term application. Its durability includes in the case of graphics exposed to petrol spills. ASOS has conveyed a significant message through choosing its first branded vans to be all electric and wrapped in a more environmentally friendly film.
The venture has been a huge success for all firms involved and has achieved its aim of creating a distinctive, recognisable and environmentally friendly van, with the vehicle wrap maintaining the low carbon footprint of the service. The ability to wrap the van in a material which fits with both the ethos of Gnewt and the feel of its client, ASOS, was a perfect match.
Gnewt is constantly innovating and looking for ways to be even more environmentally friendly including through initiatives on tyre wear, dust particles, Portering and route mapping.
Ford partners with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution to trial new digital parcel courier service designed to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries
FORD’S NEW TAKE ON GETTING PARCELS TO YOUR DOOR COULD HELP SPEED DELIVERIES, EASE CONGESTION AND IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
• Ford partners with delivery company Gnewt by Menzies Distribution (Gnewt) to trial new digital parcel courier service designed to help reduce congestion and offer faster deliveries
• 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
• Gnewt is an award winning sustainable urban parcel courier specialising in zero-emission last mile delivery services
LONDON, Feb. 18, 2019 – The next time you order a sweater it could arrive at your doorstep with help from a new “warehouse on wheels” – currently being trialled in London – that has the potential to help cut traffic, reduce emissions, and improve delivery times.
From groceries to fashion, the growth in online shopping across Europe means the number of parcel deliveries is expected to double in the next ten years. * Most of these deliveries are fulfilled by vans, leading to escalating congestion in many cities with average journey times in London having risen by more than 40 per cent in just three years. ** As a result, carriers are under increasing pressure to deliver more parcels, more quickly, with less cost, while continuing to ensure employee welfare and environmental responsibility.
Now, 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.
During the trial, Gnewt’s “last mile” delivery service will be driven by Ford’s intelligent cloud based, multimodal 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.
“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.”
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. These vans then 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. Ford’s proprietary software platform coordinates with nearby foot couriers – or potentially with bicycle couriers, drones and autonomous robots in the future – to fulfil the last leg of each delivery.
SMART, SUSTAINABLE DELIVERIES
Multimodal deliveries like these have the potential to be faster, cheaper and offer greater capacity than van only deliveries. *** Ford estimates that one van and a team of four couriers on foot or bicycle could be used to deliver the same number of parcels as five individual vans when working as part of a multimodal network.
For the London trial Ford is partnering with Gnewt, a sustainable urban parcel delivery service and winner of the 2018 U.K. Sustainable Logistics Company of the Year.
Gnewt operates the largest fully electric delivery fleet in the UK with more than 70 electric vans and has pioneered sustainable last mile delivery services, working with leading retailers, ecommerce companies and logistics firms to deliver three million parcels a year to consumers and businesses in London.
Working with Transport for London and with several universities as part of the FTC2050 research project, Gnewt has been trailing urban portering services to measure the impact of this new approach as a model for reducing the number of vans needed to fulfil deliveries and cut emissions. ***
“We want to change the way we think about moving goods around our cities,” said Sam Clarke, founder and head of business development, Gnewt. “We are keen to understand how multimodal deliveries can benefit our business, our customers, and – by promoting active travel and the associated health and environmental benefits of walking and cycling – our employees too. We are delighted to be working with Ford and helping to trial its revolutionary new software solution.”
DELIVERING THE LAST MILE
The U.K. Government has also recognised the need to develop smarter delivery solutions for urban areas, launching an open consultation to further explore last mile deliveries and the opportunities available to deliver goods more sustainably. The call for evidence, to which Ford has responded, seeks to examine the environmental benefits of micro vehicles, e-cargo bikes, and measures to improve logistical efficiency. ****
“Freight and deliveries are central to supporting London’s economy, with half of the value of the capital’s household expenditure relying on it,” said Michael Hurwitz, director of transport innovation, Transport for London. “However, congestion and poor air quality are some of the biggest challenges the city faces. More last mile deliveries made in this way, alongside the growth of micro consolidation centres, are essential to tackle the pollution problem and keeping the roads moving. Ford’s harnessing of technology to change the model for supplying homes and businesses should be applauded and is an example for others in the sector to follow.”
Building on the company’s success as the top selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe, the London trial is one of several initiatives in which Ford is looking to address delivery and urban mobility challenges in the city of tomorrow.
In the U.K., Ford is working with Transport for London on a multi million pound project to trial 20 plugin hybrid Transit vans that run solely on electric power for most city trips. The trial is being extended to the City of Valencia, Spain and Cologne, Germany this year. In the U.S., Ford continues to innovate in urban goods and service deliveries as it prepares for a future with self driving vehicles. Ford has teamed up with Postmates, an on demand delivery platform in Miami and Miami Beach to operate a self-driving delivery service.
* Parcel Delivery: The future of last mile (McKinsey&Company, Sept. 2016).
**Average time for 5 mile journey 2012-2015: http://inrix.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/INRIX-London-Congestion-Trends-May16.pdf;
*** FTC2050 Portering Trial Report: http://www.ftc2050.com/reports/Final_report_portering.pdf