The fast-paced nature of urban life has resulted in little time for visiting markets and stores for fulfilling everyday needs. Rapid urbanization has thereby facilitated the rise of e-commerce – there is a rising demand for food delivery, grocery delivery, and medicine delivery. These deliveries are expected to be safe, efficient, and quick. The last feature is acquiring increasing importance for customers. E-commerce allows consumers to browse and purchase products at the behest of a few clicks, while the delivery aspect, too, is expected to match that level of swift service. Customers are even willing to pay for premium subscriptions (such as Amazon Prime) to ensure quick or same-day delivery.
The Transforming Last-Mile Delivery Scenario
For many manufacturers, the quick dispatch and reception of the products purchased are being facilitated by third-party delivery services, often those using electronic vehicles (EVs) for the dispensation of their operations. These vehicles are hailed as the future of last-mile delivery (i.e., the final step of the delivery process from a distribution centre or facility to the end-user), with many companies transitioning to EVs from the traditionally oil-run delivery vans.
Ford Motors Co., for instance, is working on an electric version of its popular Transit van which will be unveiled by 2022. Last year, Amazon Inc. ordered 100,000 electric vans from incumbent start-up Rivian Automotive LLC, the first of which is expected to be delivered by 2021.
Indian e-retail giant Flipkart recently committed to making its entire delivery feet electric. However, the use of EVs is not restricted to the future. Smaller EVs such as e-bikes and e-scootersare beginning to operate on a smaller scale to conduct deliveries already.
One service provider that is responding to this need is Zypp, a Gurugram-based last-mile delivery service platform doing deliveries with e-scooters and e-bikes for sustainable, quick and affordable deliveries. These scooters can be rented by companies/businesses to conduct deliveries by Zypp riders, or for their own delivery executives so that they can get parcels/products picked up from a place/person and get it dropped at the appointed location. The dispensation of delivery services by EVs is being considered over traditional modes for several reasons:
- EVs are among the few transport vehicles in the modern world which do not contribute to carbon-dioxide emissions. Their use can thus be a welcome change for the highly polluted air of urban cities. There is also an emergence of charging-ports in cites which charge EVs with electricity generated from solar power cells, making this vehicle completely pollution-free.
- EVs save a lot of money on fuel, as petrol and diesel prices continue to soar. Zypp’s e-scooters, for instance, can travel at the speed of 25 kilometres per hour for forty to forty-five minutes on one full recharge. The lack of fuel also makes them less vulnerable to combustion-based accidents, making them a safer choice of transportation with relatively low maintenance costs.
- The smaller size of e-bikes in comparison to vans makes it easier for them to traverse congested city roads, helping them cover longer distances in a relatively shorter amount of time. Their sizes also help in places where parking is not available, as e-bikes and e-scooters can fit throw narrow alleys and be temporarily parked with ease.
EVs have thus emerged as a convenient pathway for reaching out to customers and can become one of the best courier partners for e-commerce. Services like Zypp can ensure that products reach consumers at a faster rate while vastly reducing the ill-effects of vehicles on the environment.