The active last mile

Think tank: Centre for London

Author(s): Millie Mitchell; Claire Harding; Nicolas Bosetti

December 6, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Centre for London looks at how can we boost out-of-home deliveries.

The ‘last mile’ of a delivery is the journey from the depot to your front door. Most last mile journeys are currently taken by vans, meaning each delivery is contributing to air pollution and road congestion. The ‘active last mile’ is when the customer collects their own parcel from a collection point on foot or by bike. A collection point might be a parcel locker or high street shop. Switching to ‘Click & Collect’ options can reduce the environmental impact of online shopping and improve air quality. This report looks at how to help enable people to walk or cycle to pick up their packages and how this would help London. It recommends more and better collection points – at least one within 250 metres of 90 per cent of Londoners’ homes. We also recommend that online retailers should ‘nudge’ shoppers at the checkout to choose out-of-home delivery. In our trial, Londoners who received a ‘nudge’ at the checkout about the environmental impact of home deliveries chose Click & Collect 71 per cent of the time.