Sainsbury's trials grocery deliveries by electric bike

Date : 20 April 2018

Sainsbury's has become the UK's first grocer to trial electric cargo bicycles for its grocery home delivery service.

Speed and environmental advantages

The trial will test the potential for electric bikes as a more efficient way to deliver groceries to customers in congested cities and offers distinct advantages. Bikes can make use of cycle and bus lanes and can achieve point to point delivery times up to three times faster than vans, according the bike service provider e-cargobikes.com. They are also easier to park and by emitting no pollution offer obvious environmental benefits. Set against this is the limited capacity of the cargo bike - 125kg of groceries in front and rear lockable boxes. While much greater than the capacity of Sainsbury's existing Chop Chop delivery cycle courier service launched in 2016, this is clearly much less than conventional vans.

South London trial

Based at Sainsbury's Streatham Common store in South London, a fleet of five zero emission bikes will deliver up to 100 orders per day to local online customers. Once customers have placed their online orders, Sainsbury’s will use routing technology to determine which orders are delivered by a traditional van or by electric cargo bike. The order will then be delivered during the customer’s chosen time slot by Sainsbury’s branded bikes and riders. 

Potential for wider rollout

If successful, the trial could be rolled out to further areas across the UK. Commenting on the launch, Clodagh Moriarty, Director of Online at Sainsbury’s, said:“We’re delighted to be the first supermarket to trial grocery deliveries by electric cargo bikes. We’re always looking for new ways to make sure we can best serve our customers and 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.”  

IGD Sainsbury's Trade Briefing 2018

5 June, London

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