Sainsbury’s is piloting grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes as the retailer seeks “greener” and “more efficient” fulfilment options.
The grocer has set the wheels in motion on the trial, which will be operated out of its Streatham Common store.
A fleet of five zero-emission bikes will hit the roads, delivering up to 100 online orders a day to customers in South London.
Sainsbury’s, which has partnered with e-cargobikes.com for the initiative, said it was designed to test whether electric cargo bikes could provide “a more efficient way of getting groceries to customers living in busy cities”.
The supermarket giant said the bikes will be able to avoid heavy traffic during peak delivery hours by using cycle lanes and be able to park closer to shoppers’ homes.
Sainsbury’s said that, once an order has been placed online, it will use routing technology to determine whether a delivery is made by a traditional van or one of the new bikes.
If successful, the bikes could be rolled out to other key cities across the UK.
Sainsbury’s director of online Clodagh Moriarty 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.”
James FitzGerald, the boss of e-cargobikes.com, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Sainsbury’s on this trial. By taking existing e-cargobike technology and putting it to the test in a new market, we’re reimagining grocery deliveries and exploring a more sustainable transport system.”