FedEx Express couriers in New York City are delivering more packages this holiday season with sleek four-wheeled electric carts (e-carts) on city sidewalks.
What’s the scoop: FedEx’s e-carts are a part of an expanded pilot program launched earlier this year, aiming to improve deliveries in major metropolitan areas.
The Trace e-carts utilized in the pilot project are from BrightDrop, a technology startup from GM looking to decarbonize last-mile delivery.
What it means: FedEx couriers operating the e-carts are making deliveries in five locations in New York City – the Diamond District, Theatre District, Midtown, Midtown East, and Brooklyn Heights, expanding upon an initial test site in the Diamond District last year.
During its busiest season, in its densest US market, FedEx is exploring how last-mile solutions like e-carts can help couriers operate with more efficient routes.
Why it matters: E-carts have the potential to help reduce vehicle idling and redistribute delivery activity away from the curb, helping to alleviate bottlenecks on high-traffic streets.
In the previous limited Manhattan pilot, FedEx couriers increased the number of total stops — and stops made per hour — when using the e-carts versus operations without them. This resulted in a win for couriers, customers, and the battle against vehicle congestion.
What they said: “FedEx customers depend on us to deliver resourcefully and reliably, especially during the holidays,” explained Michael Salerno, a FedEx Express senior station operations manager in Manhattan.
“By furthering the use of these carts on real routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, FedEx hopes to shape what the future of efficient urban delivery could look like.”
FedEx on Path Toward Carbon Neutral Operations by 2040
What else is important: As FedEx prioritizes a more efficient network and works towards its goal of carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040, the company is on a mission to match operational needs with the right technology in the right environment.
With the routes included in the e-cart courier pilot now covering more than seven walking miles across the two boroughs, FedEx hopes to take away more learnings from operating the units in urban environments, helping policymakers envision the future of last-mile delivery in an evolving urban mobility landscape.
FedEx Express has also worked with BrightDrop to incorporate new electric vehicles into its network, the first 150 of which are out delivering to customers this season in southern California.
Where to get more information: For more information on how FedEx collaborates across sectors to drive innovative and more efficient delivery solutions, visit FedEx’s website here.
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