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Amazon deliveries by London bus. Ding ding.

By Dan Wilson November 13, 2017 - 10:50 pm

Forget drones. The next mode of transport for Amazon deliveries could be that old favourite: the red London bus.

Apparently the biggest operator of London buses Go-Ahead is in talks with Amazon and considering opening up depots as parcel delivery hubs and possibly using its bus fleet to deliver goods around the city too.

Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said they are “always looking at ways to maximise assets and build new partnerships, including with logistics providers. Using our vehicles and depots to reduce congestion helps both our passengers and other road users.”

Bus depots, which are open and staffed pretty much 24/7 in London make sense as obvious sites for Amazon lockers. But the notion that buses themselves could be used to transport parcel consignments around the capital is more interesting. It’s not entirely clear exactly how it would work but seeing as they are traversing the city at all hours, means they do offer a delivery opportunity.

Part of the attraction also lies with the fact that the burgeoning gig economy delivery industry means that there are a great many extra vehicles in recent years making deliveries for courier firms and the likes of Amazon. Such is their number that they represent a congestion problem.

It’s interesting to note that Transport for London estimates that as much as 60% of deliveries to central London offices are personal packages. And a great bulk of that must be from online shopping.

And in his most recent transport proposal, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said: “Many van and lorry trips could be avoided or re-timed if freight and servicing activity were better consolidated.”

The ecommerce giant has declined to comment publicly about whether Amazon deliveries could soon utilise the bus network but that’s hardly unusual. Amazon often stays tight-lipped on potential future developments. We will keep you posted.

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