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The British government is considering the introduction of a charge on all online orders to decrease nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and congestions in the country, The Times reported. As a quarter of all NOx road transport emissions are caused by light commercial vehicles, this plan means a cut down on the number of delivery vans in the United Kingdom.

According to the British daily, the Department for Transport (DfT) is determined to reduce the impact of the increased e-commerce consumption which has resulted in more delivery vans on the roads. The charge would be similar to the plastic bag fee and would apply to all online shopping.

DfT justifies its plan by the increased NOx emissions for which vans are greatly responsible. According to a DfT research, light commercial vehicles caused a quarter of all NOx road transport emissions in 2017. To combat this, the DfT offers a grant of £8,000 to reduce the cost of an electric van.

Lockdown shopping – online was the only option

Due to coronavirus, the United Kingdom has introduced a lockdown at the end of March banning all „non-essential” travel and contact with people outside one’s home (including family and partners), and shutting almost all schools, business, venues, facilities, amenities and places of worship. In late April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK had passed the peak of its outbreak. Non-essential shops were allowed to open from 15 June, which means that the only way people could manage their non-essential shopping was via the internet and home delivery.

These regulations have severely changed the way people consume in the UK. According to a recent analysis of UK consumers’ e-commerce website visits, there was a considerable increase in the online order volume of household hardware during the Coronavirus crisis, compared to averages before the Coronavirus hit. Other product categories to experience increase in order volumes were cosmetics, furniture, and toys with 64, 17 and 90 percent increases, respectively. As people were not able to shop in shopping centres or in the High Street, inevitably, online ordering had to shift. 

Home-delivery in bloom

DPD Uk announced just last week, that it recruits 3500 new drivers for the parcel delivery department. The company needs 6,000 new UK employees altogether because of the unprecedented boom in online shopping caused by Covid-19.

Even before lockdown restrictions were announced in March, demand for DPD’s seven days a week, nationwide next-day delivery service had risen significantly as people started increasing their reliance on online shopping, says the company. The trend has continued, with existing retail customers experiencing an online sales boom and new customers developing online propositions to maintain sales during lockdown.

Since this began, we have been handling parcel volumes more akin to the festive seasonal peak than this time of year” – Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO said.

Photo: Pixabay

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