The 'last mile' is becoming increasingly important

We can no longer ignore it: e-commerce is booming and the market share continues to increase. Between 2014 and 2019, e-commerce sales have tripled worldwide, and it doesn't look like it will end anytime soon. That is not surprising, the new shop formula for ordering purchases online has endless advantages. Yet this insane success also has its downside: more driving delivery vehicles. World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that this increase will cause extra traffic, congestion and therefore also extra exhaust gases or CO2 emissions. So we have to do something to do that 'last mile' better and more efficiently. If nothing is going to change, according to WEF, gases will have increased by a shocking 2030% by 30.  

What can innovation in the 'last mile' contribute to this? And perhaps more importantly, what exactly does it take? 

The biggest problem still lies in the urbanization of the world. More people live, work and are in the cities, which increases traffic and crowds there. That in itself is a complicated problem. Femke Halsema, mayor of Amsterdam, told WEF that a lot of growth is also expected in Amsterdam: “Amsterdam expects to have 1 million inhabitants in 2032, an increase of 20% compared to today. The number of jobs will also increase by 30% until 2040. This growth in employment and inhabitants will have serious consequences for traffic and public transport. ” Figures from the municipality show that 1 in 8 vehicles in Amsterdam is a van or truck. A wake-up call, because the bridges and roads are not made at all for so much of this heavy artillery. Finally, the buses that often 'park on the sidewalk' or with their flashing hazard lights on 'just' block the road are a serious problem for the road safety of cyclists and pedestrians in the city. The combination of increasing traffic, inhabitants, jobs and the growing e-commerce on its own makes for a worrying combination of factors.

the search for alternatives

A large-scale study was conducted by the joined forces of World Economic Forum, McKinsey & Company, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and more than 20 public and private sector partners who made their vision, ideas, expertise and data available to contribute to the search for alternatives. You will find the results of this search in this interesting study. The largest alternatives that are currently being worked hard on can be found in a nice and clear overview on page 14.


Over the years, many routes have already been started to limit the last mile and thus the nuisance. These are divided into six different categories, for which various initiatives have already been set up and have already been implemented. In the research, all these initiatives are plotted again on various factors such as emissions, costs (for companies), traffic nuisance (for municipalities) and competitiveness (for the sector).

The fastest attainable and most effective option that scores best on all factors would be a combination of overnight delivery with electric cars, tougher controls with higher fines for double-parking and causing congestion. In terms of emissions alone, this would result in a decrease of 35% compared to the set forecast for 2030, which is therefore far from sufficient. Yet it also has a major advantage: it has little influence on the logistics market and can be used almost immediately. This definitely offers opportunities in contrast to delivery with electric, self-flying drones, which still requires more time. We will soon be talking about this with AVI, which is now making the first test flights for the delivery of emergency medical supplies such as donor organs, AEDs and medication between different hospitals.
Use the existing options

That something must be done is more than clear and nobody will deny it. But the big burning question is: how? And where to start? In any case, we put our best foot forward by working closely with last-mile experts in our network of more than 300 carriers, who we link to national and global carriers. This allows us to collect and deliver shipments for multiple carriers at once. Handy for the carriers and also easy for you because there is only one driver at your door, which in turn saves CO2 emissions. There are also bicycle couriers available in most cities that you can switch on super simply and quickly via your Wuunder environment. For example, we are already trying to contribute to the experience of you, your customer, residents in the cities and of course the climate!

Want to know more about our transport options? Please contact us without any obligation.