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Purolator’s new fleet of innovative delivery vehicles is helping to reduce its environmental footprint while keeping our cities cleaner, safer, and quieter.

E-commerce has surged in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s more essential than ever to get goods delivered safely, efficiently, and sustainably.

As a top Canadian integrated freight, package, and logistics solutions provider, Purolator has taken great strides to be a leader in this space, especially when it comes to sustainability. The company’s latest initiative — introducing innovative delivery vehicles to improve urban centre logistics and expand its zero-emission fleet — is helping to greatly reduce its environmental footprint and improve productivity.

“In Canada, the transportation sector represents a quarter of all the greenhouse gas emissions, and freight transportation accounts for roughly 42 per cent of those carbon emissions,” says John Ferguson, President and CEO at Purolator. “As a courier and logistics company, we want to do as much as we can to try to help Canada meet its goal of being net-zero by 2050.”

Leading the fleet in sustainability initiatives

Purolator isn’t new to corporate social responsibility. From no-idling rules to route optimization to coaching its employees on driving efficiently and introducing hybrid-electric vehicles back in 2005, the company has long considered the environmental impact of its fleet.

This year, Purolator is proud to roll out its next generation of innovative delivery vehicles: a zero-emission fleet comprised of electric-cargo bikes (e-cargo bikes) and electric low-speed vehicles.

“More than ever, we’re committed to helping cities operate more smoothly through new delivery methods,” says Mary de Guzman, Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility at Purolator. In addition to reducing our impact on the environment, these green vehicles offer an alternative last-mile delivery solution to respond to the increasing challenges from traffic congestion in the busy downtown cores, while enabling us to achieve on-time delivery and improve our customer experience.”

A solution with multifaceted benefits

Purolator’s new e-cargo bikes and electric low-speed vehicles don’t just significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions — they also help to reduce traffic and noise pollution in the downtown cores of Canada’s major cities. Used to deliver to zero-emission zones and residential areas where trucks aren’t permitted, they’re proving to be a win-win solution, with benefits for the environment, the couriers, and city dwellers alike.

“The productivity with the e-cargo bikes is pretty close to that of our standard delivery vehicles, but the overall cost is 40 percent less because you’re not using any fuel and it’s a lot more sustainable, a lot cleaner, and a lot easier to park,” says Serge Viola, Director of National Fleet at Purolator. He notes that the new e-cargo bikes are also easier to manoeuvre in congested downtown areas and that they take up half the space of traditional delivery trucks for parking.

All roads lead to a greener tomorrow

With these new courier delivery solutions already on the road in, the future is bright as the company plans to expand from Toronto and Montreal to Vancouver and other major centres throughout Canada next year. “We’re rolling this program out one step at a time, one city at a time,” says Viola.

Longer term, Purolator is looking to further expand its fleet of electric and hybrid-electric vehicles to include heavy trucks and tractors. It’s also investigating the implementation of electric shunter vehicles at its National Super Hub, which is set to open at the end of next year.

“At Purolator, we’re continuously innovating,” says de Guzman. “I’m so proud of our organization and how it really wants to protect and preserve the environment. We’re really committed to expanding our green initiatives.”

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