18 Nov How DPD’s all-electric micro-depots are slashing emissions in city centres

As part of the DPD Smart Urban Delivery Strategy, three electric vehicle (EV) micro-depots are now up and running in London. They form part of the long-term strategy to completely neutralise the company’s carbon footprint through sustainable, emission-free delivery services.

Having exceeded the initial EV targets for fleet expansion last year, DPD UK now has a fleet of more than 700. Combined with the launch of the sustainable city centre micro-depots, which cut the journey time and ensure a low carbon supply chain. DPD UK delivered over eleven million emission free parcels in 2020. Delivered solely using EVs, these emission-free parcels saved 4,300,000 kg of carbon dioxide, proving that low or no carbon delivery services are possible.

DPD Westminster was the first all electric micro-depot to launch

The first all-electric micro-depot opened in Westminster in 2018. This was joined by two more in London city centre last year, with the final total planned as eight micro-cites in London alone. EVs aren’t used just for the last leg of the parcel’s journey. In fact, DPD is the sole UK parcel carrier to use the electric FUSO eCanter 7.5 tonne truck to take the parcels to the micro-depots. This hugely reduces diesel emissions in itself, and the finale mile delivery journey is then taken on by the innovative Paxster EV. 

And the Westminster micro-depot was the big game-changer. It was the country’s very first all-electric parcel depot using zero-emission EVs for the in-feed and the final delivery. This is a huge achievement by DPD UK and is testament to the determination and innovation informing the company’s mission to become the most sustainable delivery company in the world.

The DPD Westminster micro-depot was opened in 2018 by the then Deputy Lord Mayor for Environment & Energy Shirley Rodriguez, Transport for London (TfL) director Alex Williams and Westminster Councillor Tim Mitchell. It was launched six months before the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was introduced in London. The Westminster micro-depot functions as a satellite depot for the DPD London City depot, which is located in Southwark.

New micro-depots improve air quality in city centres

Before Westminster opened, the London City depot was running 15 3.5 tonne diesel lorries every single day in central London. These vehicles were pumping out fumes as they averaged 614 miles delivering 3,024 parcels every day. From the 614 miles, 180 were eaten up driving from DPD London City depot to the finale mile area. The entire operation produced 45 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which works out at 113.94 grams for each individual parcel.

By replacing these diesel vehicles with two 7.5tonne Mitsubishi FUSO eCanters to deal with the routes between London City and Westminster, before the parcels are taken the final mile, emissions are drastically cut. The miles per parcel journey has fallen by almost half and zero carbon, which is an enormously significant achievement.

The three DPD Electric Vehicle micro-depots in London

Daily parcel deliveries across these postcodes totals around 14,000 parcels – all emission free. Here’s how the three micro-depots compare.

DPD Westminster micro-depot

  • 5,000 square foot of depot space.
  • Covers eight postcodes.
  • Daily parcel capacity of 2,000.
  • Runs a fleet of EVs including six Paxster, five EAV P1 Cargo, eight Nissan E-NV200, two Mercedes Benz eVito and two Mitsubishi FUSO ecanter.

DPD Shoreditch micro-depot

  • 3,500 square foot of depot space.
  • Covers eight postcodes.
  • Daily parcel capacity of 5,000.
  • Runs a fleet of EVs including three EAV P1 Cargo, two Paxster, 30 Nissan E-NV200 and two Mercedes-Benz eVito vans.

DPD Hyde Park micro-depot

  • 8,500 square foot of depot space.
  • Covers three postcodes.
  • Daily parcel capacity of 7,000.
  • Runs a fleet of EVs including two EAV P1 Cargo bikes, two Paxster, ten Nissan E-NV200 and two Mercedes-Benz eVito vans.

A statement from TfL and Transport for London after Westminster opened praises DPD’s leadership, saying: “DPD’s pioneering all-electric consolidation centre on TfL’s land in Westminster is completely zero-emission and includes extensive charging infrastructure, serving a two square mile delivery radius in the heart of Westminster. The centre takes 170,000 diesel vehicle miles off the roads every year… we will continue to work closely with partners such as DPD to make our vision or cleaner and safer streets a reality.

Future target for micro-depots across the country

DPD is now looking at other cities across the country to target congestion and air quality. As more Clean Air and Zero Emissions Zones are implemented in cities around the UK, operational changes will also need to be made. This is high on the company’s agenda as it continues its mission to become the most sustainable delivery company in the world.

The rate of change in transport policy from the Government is faster and more meaningful than ever before. DPD UK will continue to work with all stakeholders, from local authorities to EV manufacturers and everyone in between to drastically lower emissions and improve the air quality for future generations.