The Active Last Mile: how can we boost out-of-home deliveries?

Getting more people to collect their parcels locally has many benefits: it can reduce the impact of deliveries on local air pollution and carbon emissions, it can make us more active. Fewer vans also means roads are safer and calmer, while picking up or dropping off parcels could help high street vitality as people are more likely to visit shops and other venues local to them.  

Despite being far ahead in the share of online shopping, most consumer deliveries in the UK are made to people’s homes, mainly for convenience reasons. Yet in a dense city like London, click and collect could be a suitable alternative for many people: there is a dense network of shops or lockers to collect parcels on foot, which also avoids missed deliveries. With parcel numbers predicted to rise from 450 million packages in 2020 to one billion by 2030, there is a strong case for increasing the popularity of alternatives to home deliveries. 

This research project looks at how to increase take up of parcel pick up and drop off in London, and explore the benefits this would create. We want to understand the barriers to growing parcel pick up from consumer preferences, to the availability of accessible and convenient parcel collection options. The project will research the effectiveness of different interventions and will make recommendations to retailers, and policymakers in London and in government.  

We will organise a public event to launch and discuss the findings of the research.

If you’d like to get in touch about this project, please email our Researcher Millie Mitchell.


With the generous support of