With no need to travel long distances and no annoying searches for a parking space when you get there, e-commerce is becoming increasingly popular with consumers.
Revenues posted by Amazon and other online retailers have reportedly been on the rise for many years and, with a large number of high-street businesses forced to close as a result of restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the sector has enjoyed another significant boost.
According to figures from The Office of National Statistics (ONS), UK online sales in August were 38.9% higher than pre-pandemic levels, recorded in February 2020.
However, the boom in orders is also said to have a downside: transport service providers cover around 60 billion kilometres on deliveries in Europe and the USA each year – and close to 17 billion kilometres carrying returns. The latter figure is said to equate to 73 journeys between Earth and Mars. The fact is that one in four trucks is being used for returning items, emitting around 1.5 billion kilograms of CO2 in the process.
Against this background, it may become clear why the EU is imposing obligations on truck manufacturers to reduce CO2. By 2025 all truck makers must cut the CO2 emissions of their heavy-duty commercial vehicles by 15% compared to the 2019 average. By 2030 the reduction needs to be 30%.
Tyres can play a significant role in achieving these ambitious targets, with a key factor being rolling resistance. This reportedly has a major impact on fuel consumption – which, in turn, directly relates to a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. So, choosing the right tyres can have equal benefits for the environment and fleet operators.
However, it is not only fleet operators who can contribute in a big way to reducing CO2 emissions, as anyone buying a product on the Internet can help too. All it needs is for consumers to act with more thought when shopping online and so avoid having to send back a large proportion of what arrives on their doorstep.