With prior studies pointing towards a cost and efficiency saving in the majority of cases where cargo bikes are deployed for logistics, Sainsbury's fleet will initially deliver around 100 online orders per day.
If successful, the trial could be rolled out to further areas across the UK. Sainsbury’s is launching the trial with e-cargobikes.com who will provide the purpose-built bikes, which have enough capacity to carry several customer orders at a time.
As well as making sure customers get their shopping on time, the electric cargo bikes will also be beneficial to the environment, producing zero emissions and no noise pollution. Once customers have placed their online orders, Sainsbury’s will use routing technology to determine which orders are delivered by a traditional van or by electric cargo bike. The order will then be delivered during the customer’s chosen time slot by Sainsbury’s branded bikes and riders.
Clodagh Moriarty, Director of Online at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re delighted to be the first supermarket to trial grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes. We’re always looking for new ways to make sure we can best serve our customers and this trial will help us explore whether there might be a more flexible way to deliver Sainsbury’s groceries to those who live in busy cities.”
This is not the first foray into cargo bikes for Sainsbury's, which formerly linked London Green Cycles for a fleet of pedal-powered bikes. Professor Alan Braithwaite, logistics and retail expert and director of e-cargobikes.com, added: “Research has shown that electric cargo bikes can provide substantial environmental, congestion and customer service benefits.
This development is exciting because it takes those benefits into the grocery home delivery space which is totally new. I am sure that Sainsbury customers will embrace this opportunity and the benefits.