• Jack Hamande

‘A better tomorrow’ deliveries

Today, the company CityDepot (https://www.citydepot.be/en/ ) launched new delivery capabilities in Antwerp in Belgium. CityDepot innovates by changing the way the transport of goods to and from cities, and also within cities is done..


As you know, changes in the product mix (from letters to parcels) had important implications for postal operators’ environmental footprint. The true net effect of the postal and e-commerce delivery sector on the environment has however not been appraised.


CARBON-NEUTRAL DELIVERY IS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO CONSUMERS” said IPC (International Post Corporation) earlier this year recognizing that “consumers’ views on sustainability when shopping online cross-border highlighted the importance in providing recyclable packaging and sustainable delivery.


"The reasons to watch CityDepot developments are obvious" said Jack Hamande


CityDepot is innovating both on operations and logistics:


- Stakeholders Joining Forces : CityDepot join forces with multi stakeholders to be able to offer sustainable and efficient solutions for all logistic needs and concerns searching for smart and high-quality solutions for urban deliveries

- Dynamic solutions: By bundling volumes CityDepot and thanks to the creation of optimum inner city delivery rounds deliveries are more efficient

- Bundling volumes: volume bundling and cargo pooling - also over large distances - mean lower kilometre-based charges per volume unit

- Smart and sustainable : use of the most ecological vehicles (bicycles, trucks) and deliver to retailers up to (inter)national transporters creating less traffic, less air pollution, less noise, better security, better quality of life and a better (urban) economic climate.


"Securing an efficient sustainable postal service is key !"


This aligns very well with the postal sector initiatives making deliveries more environment friendly.


We see many initiatives across the world, e.g. :


  • Belgian postal organization bpost has launched a pilot project in Belgium to attempt emissions-free delivery of letters and parcels throughout cities

  • Further developments of City hubs which take in consignments and redistribute items for delivery using removable containers

  • With mini distribution centers now up and running, number of vehicles are reduced and carbon emissions decline by up to 45 percent

In short, best practice examples in environmental sustainability carried out by postal operators include:

  • Reducing energy usage and emissions of their buildings

  • Setting environmental targets on their own operations. For example, in Germany Deutsche Post set the goal to reduce all transport-related emissions to net zero by 2050

  • Introducing environmentally friendly vehicles in addition to the traditional delivery by foot and bicycle. Many postal operators are employing new electric modes of delivery, such as electric bicycles and electric vans and cars

  • Educating drivers in ‘green’ driving behavior

  • Compensating for unavoidable CO2 emissions, as done by Austrian Post

  • Setting sustainability requirements on sub-contracted and outsourced activities

It's easy to shop with just a click of the mouse. But can it be climate-friendly too ?


Delivery technologies transform the last mile Technology is a significant enabler for ever-shortening delivery times, allowing for more efficient supply-chain processes and the launch of alternative delivery methods such as drones and droids.


Companies and authorities are exploring many solutions, which generally fall into six broad categories: vehicle change, secure delivery, customer movement, consolidation, last-leg change and delivery environment, thereby encompassing the full last-mile funnel


Source: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_the_last_mile_ecosystem.pdf January 2020


The roll-out of pilots on the suggested interventions should accelerate. We also recommend to create the conditions to exchange experiences on the most effective methodologies, discuss challenges and opportunities on new ecosystems. Besides, we should think about the right regulations – e.g. for autonomous driving and inner-city e-mobility – and to see how to help delivery players to better operate and to receive R&D investment to accelerate the adoption of sustainable supply-chain technologies.


We can not forget the use of data and advanced analytics as a vital enabler for interventions such as effective load-pooling and real-time traffic control.


In terms of next steps, we encourage #UPU, operators and public players to team up further and accelerate for a better tomorrow.

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