Logistics Skills Alliance chair talks final mile sustainability to Manchester Fashion Institute

LSA chair, Carl Lomas delivers inaugural lecture in Express final mile to the Manchester Fashion Institute at the Manchester Metropolitan University.

‘Carbon may be the measure of free home delivery.’

Carl Lomas, chairman Logistics Skills Alliance & chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Urban deliveries group was in Manchester to deliver the inaugural lecture of final mile, fashion express logistics at the Manchester Metropolitan University's Manchester Institute of Fashion, introduced by Dr Ken Wilkinson.

In defining the term ‘Express’ Lomas quoted Nick Langdon, boss of Royal Mail Parcels,’ the Express sector is exploding’ and then referenced the IMRG figures to show retail value growth in e-retail express delivery.

The keynote lecture focused on the term, ‘Client Chain’

Express home delivery is no longer driven by supply, today's e-retail express generates a client-driven chain where fashion items can arrive same day. Lomas spoke of the Next Hermes contract, order by midnight for next day delivery. John Lewis and the Waitrose collect model.

Addressing the fashion institute student audience, ‘return logistics, shopping on line, your bedroom has become the dressing room, a changing room for fashion choice in your home.’ Ordering an item in three colours and two sizes, six orders, five returned. A client spending ten thousand pounds per year who returns five of every six items, this only grosses one thousand three hundred and fifty pounds of spend in the new client chain. Is it sustainable and how do we deal with the perception, delivery is free of charge. ‘

Lomas asked the next generation fashion logisticians to find a new measure of delivery, focus on carbon as a measure, retail competition will not allow you to use monetary value in the solution.

‘Clean air driven final mile fashion will be a selling tool of the future in the client chain’

A brief review of alternative final mile home delivery vehicles. Moving from fossil fuel vans to low and ultra-low emission, then zero emission, cargo cycle pods with volume for fashion delivery.

‘A new layer of final mile is emerging from green solutions.’

Looking at a sustainable business model for final mile home delivery in the fashion client chain Lomas talked consolidation of both goods and timescales of delivery. ‘It’s not conceivable to deliver a competitor's goods, but a new layer of final mile is emerging from green solutions such as Sam Clarke's Gnewt zero emission electric van solutions.

Lomas finished the keynote with a philosophical view of lens to see the world, using the award-winning FedEx logo embedded with an arrow of direction for delivery.