How Same-Day Shipping Is Clogging U.S. Roads
An article in Streetsblog today highlights the results of a study done by the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Davis, examining the air pollution and congestion impacts of rush delivery services, such as same-day and 1-hour shipping, provided by online retailers. The study found, unsurprisingly, that the emissions and congestion impacts caused by faster deliveries were worse-- but what is shocking is just how much worse.
"The average vehicle miles travelled for a package that was delivered in an hour or less was seven times higher than for a package delivered in as little as 24 hours; per-package nitrogen oxide emissions, meanwhile, were about six times higher for customers who selected the fastest available shipping," according to the article. The UC Davis study finds that to meet short delivery times, delivery vehicles operate at reduced capacity, departing before they are filled. The study's authors recommend steps that consumers can take to minimize the environmental impacts of their shopping, including allowing longer delivery windows, grouping together orders, and minimizing returns.