September 2, 2021

AxleHire Tortoise400x275AxleHire, a last-mile delivery logistics company, has announced they would be expanding two new zero-emission pilot programs with Tortoise and URB-E. The pilots are set for Los Angeles (Tortoise) and New York City (URB-E), and will be scaled nationally in 2021 and 2022 in other cities where the companies currently have operations.

Powered by proprietary technology, AxleHire uses algorithms to dynamically optimize delivery routes – providing more packages delivered in fewer vehicles. In addition, the company establishes delivery hubs in or nearby densely traveled metro routes, which aims to lower miles traveled and fuel consumed. WIth URB-E’s zero-emission electric vehicles and Tortoise’s remote-piloted carts, the company said it has lowered emissions by 95%.

Over the past year, AxleHire has been quietly piloting Tortoise’s 100% electric, 4-mph remote-piloted carts loaded with AxleHire customers’ packages (up to 120 lbs of goods). Using a centrally placed hub, AxleHire loads their customers’ deliveries into the Tortoise delivery cart, which goes back and forth to make approximately 15 deliveries per day to recipients in Los Angeles. The Tortoise uses sidewalks, bike lanes and the side of the road to fulfill deliveries within a 3-mile radius.

“Tortoise is thrilled to be expanding our relationship with AxleHire to scale up zero-emissions remote-controlled last-mile package delivery nationwide,” said Dmitry Shevelenko, co-founder of Tortoise. “Tortoise’s flexible and friendly delivery robots are a perfect fit for making AxleHire’s last-mile delivery of meal kits, parcels, and groceries affordable, delightful, and sustainable.”

AxleHire URB E400x275In New York, AxleHire and URB-E launched a micro-container delivery system to deliver goods from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The URB-E vehicles can haul more than 800 lbs., and still travel in bike lanes. The company said this model saved drive time and avoided parking tickets, resulting in a 6x reduction in traffic and 3x less expensive than EV delivery vans.

“Partnering with AxleHire has allowed our two companies to do what no other cleantech delivery companies have been able to do successfully in the United States, making e-cargo delivery easily adaptable and scalable,” said Charles Jolley, CEO of URB-E. “Our micro-container delivery project in New York has proven that it’s more than possible to do green delivery more efficiently and at less cost than traditional gas-powered delivery vans.”

AxleHire has also participated in zero-emission delivery zones in Santa Monica and Seattle (a zero-emission neighborhood delivery). “Creating a sustainable supply chain is something that we take seriously here at AxleHire, especially as a California-based company where we see how things like global warming have an impact on our daily lives,” said Daniel Sokolovsky, founder of AxleHire. “I’m super-excited we’re expanding nationally with Tortoise and URB-E and reaching more metro neighborhoods where using sustainable delivery technology has a big impact.”

For more details on the Tortoise technology, visit its website here.

Why this matters

Partnerships between robotics companies and logistics providers in the last-mile delivery space will give legitimacy to the idea of robots delivering goods in certain areas. The sustainability aspect should also be appealing to local governments looking to reduce emissions.