Transport Innovation Expo

We were proud to attend the Transport Innovation Expo, which was a collaboration between the Department for Transport and Connected Places Catapult, on Thursday 7 October. 

Anteam is proud to be recognised as an innovation leader in the transport sector, following our Transport-Technology Research And Innovation Grant (T-TRIG), awarded by the Department for Transport in 2020. 

The various insights gained from the event, which featured prestigious speakers such as Transport Minister Trudy Harrison, will help Anteam to better innovate and grow moving forward.

Research Underlines Environmental Cost of Next-Day Delivery

Credit: Oscar Cooksey-Nash

I think shopping online is fantastic, it’s convenient, easy and arrives so fast! When the delivery comes through your door, the unwrapping of a parcel can feel almost like opening a  gift – even if it’s something mundane like some new pillowcases. 

Researchers have found that online shipping is twice as “fun” as traditional shopping because your brain releases the happy hormone serotonin. You get an initial dose of serotonin when you click buy and another when your parcel arrives at your doors. Much more enjoyable than standing in line at the mall, right?  

As consumer patterns are shifting towards online shopping, accelerated by Covid-19, I was interested to find out just how green e-commerce as compared to traditional shopping.  

So, I’ve put together a guide on the potential harms of shopping online – and how to  avoid them.  

How Green is Online Delivery? 

The ecological cost of e-commerce has dramatically shifted over the years. Initial research highlighted how shopping for books online had a lower delivery impact than going in-store  (Matthews et al., 2001).  

Since then, research from MIT has found that online delivery is a greener alternative to traditional shopping but only when the shipping process is slow (Weideli et al., 2013). That means no express delivery.  

In recent years e-commerce has soared and become much more sophisticated as consumers buy a great deal more online and delivery times have become a lot shorter.  

Next Day Delivery, What’s the Harm?  

It’s easy to see why express delivery has become ubiquitous in the online retail sector. Thanks to logistical wizardry, with one click, your consumer desires are fulfilled within hours. This speedy delivery comes at an environmental cost. 

Packaging Waste 

Have you ever noticed that if you order two separate items, they don’t often arrive in the same package? That’s because when you order multiple items through express delivery,  they are likely coming from two separate facilities across the country. This results in a new cardboard box for every purchase. A study of Walmart found CO2 emissions of products are  35% higher on products when shipped separately than when shipped together.  

Empty Vans 

To meet the pressing time demands, shipping vans no longer consolidate their load and will start their transit even if they are only partially full. This means more pollution as vans will make numerous trips between hubs and homes.  

Unfortunately, online retailers are not doing enough to inform their customers of the hidden environmental costs that they promote. 

It’s important to note that online shopping can be much better for the environment than traditional shopping. As soon as you choose “next day delivery”, things change. 

So, if you want to reduce your CO2 emissions you may have to wait a few days. But through innovation, it is possible to change this. We believe that there are innovations available that can reduce emissions while keeping “same-day delivery” intact. 

Don’t you think there is a better model than our current delivery service?

Anteam’s Free Weekend Delivers for the Local Community

Anteam is pleased to share that its Free Delivery Weekend was a great success! We succeeded in meeting our dual goals of forging connections with members of the community and empowering local businesses. Building up to the weekend, our team of staff and volunteers reported on the overwhelmingly positive reception they faced by local businesses. We hope to learn from the weekend and to use the connections made as a springboard.

The week running up to Delivery Weekend was an opportunity to investigate whether Anteams ‘pitch’ would be well-received by local businesses. Confidence and morale were high as during a coffee morning the team practiced how they would approach businesses. It didn’t take long before Anteam required its first business sign-up from a florist called Living Flowers. After the first session, the team reported on how businesses often stated their appreciation for Anteam’s local roots and green credentials.

Over the course of the weekend, numerous deliveries were made for businesses and members of the community! Anteam made a gift delivery of plants to the local high school for Living Flowers. We were also grateful for the opportunity to make a Covid safe delivery to a member of the community who was shielding. And we even made a light-hearted delivery of snacks and prosecco to a family holding a garden party for the England football game!

Anteam is proud of the work made by the staff and volunteers who successfully operated the Delivery Weekend. The team learned a great deal and fostered a great sense of comradery. Anteam wishes to thank the establishments of Living Flowers and Mercado Deli as well as members of the community for collaborating with us in making the weekend a great success. And finally, we wish to thank the volunteers for going out and spending their time handing out flyers and engaging with businesses.

We are Pleased to Announce…

Paul has joined Anteam! The latest member of our team is an entrepreneurial Economics and Management graduate from the University of Oxford. Paul is our new Marketing Assistant; we are confident that his previous marketing experience and flair for innovation will make him a key asset to our team. 

During his time at Oxford, Paul enjoyed studying the theory aspect of his degree. He looks forward to deploying his theoretical expertise in a real-life context.

Paul has previous marketing experience garnered from a previous internship which he hopes to use – and build upon them further – to drive Anteam’s growth.

A significant motivation for Paul wishing to join Anteam was our eco-friendly and ethical focus. Paul found resonance with Anteam’s commitment to giving back to society. He believes the role is an intriguing personal opportunity as he has the chance to facilitate a positive societal impact. As a Marketing Assistant Paul is now determined to develop Anteam into a strong and trustworthy brand.

World Environment Day

Every year on June 5th the world celebrates the United Nations World Environment Day. This is an important day of the calendar year for those committed to environmental protection. This year the day will be organised by India, and the event will underscore the environmental challenges that the world faces now and in the future.

On World Environment Day it is vital to raise awareness about environmental issues. The theme for Environment Day 2021 is ‘Reimagine, Recreate and Restore’ as 2021 marks the start of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. One of the causes of ecosystem degradation has been the effects of climate change. Therefore, Anteam is pleased to celebrate UN World Environment Day by reaffirming its commitment to reducing CO2.

Anteam is focused on reducing UK emissions by targeting transport as it is the highest emitting sector in the UK. By innovating the way society conducts deliveries, we can reduce the numbers of trips taken by cars and vans. With fewer vehicles on the road, there will be fewer emissions and less air pollution within our towns and cities.

What action do you intend to make?

Society and E-Commerce

The Rise  

Did you know that the UK leads the world in online shopping? Research from Episerver found  1/3 of Brits purchase online at least once per week.  

Over the last 10 years, the percentage of online shopping to overall retail sales more than tripled up to 19% until 2019. Once the pandemic hit it nearly doubled to 35% (ONS, 2021). 

It’s not an overstatement to say that online shopping has changed our milieu forever. The high streets are emptying as the roads become peppered with delivery vans as we sit in the comfort of our home clicking “add to basket”.  

How did this happen and what does the future hold?  

History of E-Commerce 

Thanks to the internet – and more specifically the World Wide Web – humanity has been shopping online since the 1990s. Services like Amazon have humble backstories of selling books from a garage in 1994 to becoming the world’s most valuable public company in 2019.  

Many companies are trying to follow in Amazon’s footsteps. Today there are a plethora of trusted companies that we rely on to deliver goods to our door in record time from Etsy to  Yodel and Ocado.  

Would you have heard of these 20 years ago?  

Covid Catalyst  

The pandemic provided an ideal climate for online retailers to solidify their scope. For much of 2020, the instruction for everyone was to “stay at home” which was a catalyst in making consumers switch to online shopping. Meanwhile, non-essential brick-and-mortar shops were forced to close. 

Shops ran out of toilet paper and hand sanitisers which meant consumers turned to Amazon to supply them with toiletries – until they ran out.

During 2020, Amazon doubled its quarterly profits compared to the year before (Harris, 2020). Amazon’s growth will continue despite brick and mortar shops opening their doors to the public, e-commerce is projected to grow over the next 5 years.  

What does the future of e-commerce hold? Well according to some experts in the next 10  years we could have drones, droids and driverless cars.  

Droids 

In March 2021, a delivery droid was piloted on the streets of Stockholm. Nicknamed “Doora”  the pilotless vehicle is knee-high, pink and whizzes around the streets on two wheels. Thanks to 5G, Doora can perceive its surroundings in real-time, which enables her to autonomously send deliveries up to 2kg. 

Drones 

Drone delivery has the potential to change delivery services completely. Amazon’s “Prime  Air” service will be able to deliver to you within 30 minutes. Initial testing for the service began in 2013 and it was officially unveiled in 2016 but it was not until 2020 that it achieved regulatory approval to operate flying drones. 

To fulfil the numerous orders within a city, Amazon has patented a concept of buildings that act as beehives for drones. These futuristic buildings will be a hub that releases drones across the city to your doorstep. 

Self-Driving Cars 

Not only will the cars of the future be electric but also self-driving. The latest headline was from Ocado, who have announced a £10m stake in Oxbotica – an autonomous vehicle software company. Ocado’s head of technology states: 

“From a customer’s perspective, you open your door and outside you will see an  autonomous van or another autonomous vehicle pull up outside your house, and most likely  an autonomous robot will get out of that autonomous vehicle, will collect your groceries,  and hand them to you at the doorstep.” 

Conclusion 

Even though it might seem like e-commerce has dramatically changed since the 1990s, the concept of buying online is still only in its infancy. We can now order millions of different items that arrive within less than a day but soon this will seem very slow.  

The range of products we can order, and the delivery times have become more efficient, but these are only small changes to what’s to come in the future. The skies may be filled with drones and our pavements scattered with friendly-looking robots. This will make deliveries far more efficient and lower in CO2. 

We’re excited about this future. But until we have futuristic drones and droids, we believe that there are more efficient ways of delivery than we have today. Anteam is committed to lowering the number of delivery vehicles on the road by making trips more efficient. 

We are Pleased to Announce…

Rory has joined Anteam! Rory is the newest member of our team and is undertaking the role of Environmental Research Officer. Rory has a Master’s degree in Global Environment, Politics & Society from the University of Edinburgh. Before joining Anteam, he was a Research Assistant at the House of Lords, where he specialised in writing about biodiversity loss in the UK.

While studying, Rory joined a student-led think tank to create policy proposals to solve real-world problems. To do this, his team thought of ways to reduce car pollution within the city. Rory contributed by publishing a report to find solutions to increase the uptake in bike hires in the city of Edinburgh.

Rory gained his environmental campaign skills from an internship he undertook with the New Zealand Labour Party. His role was to recruit new volunteers and to organise campaign events for the local community. It was through this role that Rory discovered the power of community engagement and empathising with local people.

He is eager to begin his role as he believes that Anteam represents both community engagement and environmentalism. Rory hopes that through his role he can reduce CO2 emissions by taking cars off the road while also facilitating positive community ethos by engaging with volunteers.