Amazon has opened three new micromobility delivery hubs in Manchester and London ahead of Black Friday – a day that unsurprisingly presages one of its busiest delivery periods. E-cargo bikes and walkers are now expected to make more than two million UK deliveries a year to Amazon customers with plans to roll out more hubs in the coming months.
Amazon has committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2040 – which doesn’t stand out as being an especially ambitious deadline and perhaps explains why it had been making slow progress until fairly recently.
There do seem to be signs of movement now though with a five-year £300m investment in the electrification and decarbonisation of its UK transportation network
Amazon launched its first micromobility hub in the London Borough of Hackney in August with a goal of e-cargo bikes and walkers completing around a million deliveries a year.
It has now added two more hubs in the capital – in Wembley and Southwark – and another in Manchester. The firm reckons these new facilities and the expanded fleet will give it the capacity to deliver two million packages a year on foot or by bike.
It also has over a thousand electric delivery vans operating in the UK, delivering around 45 million packages a year.
“These new hubs will not only bring our customers more electric-powered deliveries, but also support local authorities looking for ways to reduce congestion and find alternative transportation methods,” said Amazon’s UK Country Manager, John Boumphrey. “We look forward to expanding our e-cargo bike fleet further in the coming months.”
Amazon is far from alone in its attempt to move towards e-cargo bikes for urban deliveries. The likes of UPS, DPD, FedEx and Royal Mail have all run trials of various kinds of light electric vehicles and most now employ them to at least some extent in their day-to-day operations.
There are also a number of smaller delivery firms operating in various UK cities. Back in 2020, London-based e-cargo and taxi firm Pedal Me even offered to assist the likes of Amazon and eBay if they wanted to decarbonise and operate more efficiently.