Delivery van with packages

Health effects of air pollution

Testing if ‘last mile’ logistics hubs can reduce air pollution

Trialling and evaluating a ‘last mile’ logistics hub will help us to understand how effective the consolidation of urban deliveries could be in improving air quality and public health.

Key info:

What are we doing together?

Reducing congestion and polluting emissions from the ‘last mile’ of deliveries – the journey between a local depot and people’s homes or businesses – would improve air quality and have a big impact on health.

We’re working with Cross River Partnership to explore whether micro-consolidation hubs could be one solution to the high levels of air pollution generated by freight in London. 

A micro-consolidation hub, also known as a ‘last mile’ logistics hub, allows goods to be consolidated at a location much closer to the delivery point. They usually serve local areas, handling small and lightweight goods which are delivered by couriers using cargo bikes or electric vehicles.   

Cross River Partnership will conduct a year-long micro-consolidation hub trial in south London. Goods will be consolidated in a hub and then delivered into neighbourhoods in Brixton using zero or low emission modes. 

During the trial, Cross River Partnership will:   

  • Determine the costs of setting up and running a successful micro-consolidation hub 
  • Gather evidence to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, highlighting any barriers and benefits 
  • Create guidance on setting up and running a hub.

The trial will be independently evaluated, and Cross River Partnership will share a report and lessons learnt from the project. 

Aim of the partnership

Learning more about what works when adopting a micro-consolidation hub model, as well as the main challenges involved, will help to scale-up interventions to reduce air polluting emissions from freight in London and other cities. 

A Transport for London report found there are significant knowledge gaps around consolidation solutions so the evidence gathered and evaluated during this pilot will be shared with our partners in the clean air sector and with the freight and logistics industry. The findings could be used for the development of other potential sites in Lambeth and Southwark, across London and in other urban settings around the world.

Reducing the number of journeys made and miles travelled by polluting delivery vans in London could reduce the damaging effects of air pollution on people’s health, particularly on those people who live near major roads.

Connection to our strategy

By working collaboratively with industries that produce air pollution, and the communities most affected by that air pollution, we will be better placed to identify ways to improve air quality. 

Testing a range of innovative ideas on how to cut delivery van emissions will help us to develop an evidence base on what works. Sharing what we learn from these pilot projects could help to significantly reduce the air pollution generated by freight and delivery services across London.

Amandeep Singh Kellay

Want to find out more?

Contact our Portfolio Manager Amandeep Singh Kellay.

Contact Amandeep