Sainsbury’s has begun delivering online orders by bike to beat city traffic

Sainsbury’s has launched the UK’s first grocery delivery service by electric cargo bike.

A fleet of five bikes has begun delivering orders in south London dispatching up to 100 online orders per day – and Sainsbury’s will consider rolling the initiative out to busy cities across the UK if it proves successful. 

Pedal power

The wheels have been set in motion in the capital with the zero-emission bikes operating out of the grocer’s Streatham Common store.

Online customers who place an order weighing under 125kg are eligible to receive their delivery by the purpose-built bikes, which have enough capacity to carry several orders at once. Sainsbury’s route planning system will determine which orders are delivered by van and which ones arrive via bike. The trial will test whether delivering groceries by electric bikes could be a more efficient way of getting groceries to customers living in busy cities.

Beating the traffic

Using the cycle lane means riders are able to avoid traffic, especially during peak delivery hours such as midweek mornings, and park closer to customers’ homes than is often possible for traditional delivery vans.

“We’re delighted to be the first supermarket to trial grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes,” said Clodagh Moriarty, online director at Sainsbury’s. “This trial will help us explore whether there might be a more flexible way to deliver Sainsbury’s groceries to those who live in busy cities.” James Fitzgerald, managing director of e-cargobikes, which is supplying the fleet, pointed to the environmental benefits of using bikes instead of vans, describing them as “ideal” for delivering small and medium loads in and around congested towns and cities.  


by Katie Grant 

Apr 20, 2018