5 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE APRIL 2021 O p e n i n g L i n e s A P R I L 2 0 2 1 ENHANCED LAST-MILE DELIVERY CAN REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTI AND AIR EMISSIONS IN CITIES, ACCENTURE REPORT FINDS Study analyzes potential impact of micro-fulfilment centers in Chicago, London and Sydney B y taking bold steps to transform how last-mile delivery ecosystems operate, post and parcel organizations, retailers and delivery companies could reduce harmful emissions and traffic congestion within cities, according to a new study by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) undertaken in collaboration with Frontier Economics. The report, “ The Sustainable Last Mile: Faster. Greener. Cheaper. , ” found that using local micro- fulfilment centers (MFCs) across Chicago, London and Sydney to fulfill just half of the e-commerce orders in those cities could significantly reduce traffic volume and harmful air emissions — and that last-mile supply chains using MFCs could lower delivery vehicle-related emissions 16%-26% by 2025. A flexible logistics solution for e-commerce, MFCs enable inventory to be stored closer to customers in convenient suburban locations, enhancing supply chain processes, speeding up last-mile deliveries and enabling in-person pick-up of parcels. MFCs include in-store click and collect points, automated locker storage facilities, and stand-alone micro-warehouse facilities. Increasing the use of MFCs to enable same-day or next-day deliveries provides retailers and postal and logistics organizations with operational benefits while simultaneously creating significant positive environmental and societal impact, according to the study. Of the three cities included in the study, London would likely see the largest delivery traffic reduction from the use of MFCs — 13%, equating to about 320 million fewer miles (520 million fewer kilometers) traveled by delivery vehicles. Chicago’s delivery traffic could also be reduced by 13%, equal to 127 million fewer miles (205 million fewer kilometers) travelled across Cook County. For Sydney, the report forecasts about a 2% reduction in delivery traffic, or about 16 million miles (27 million kilometers) of reduced vehicle traffic across the Greater Sydney region.