Belgium’s Collaborative Urban Logistics & Transport (CULT) initiative has selected postal operator bpost to deliver its combined deliveries in Antwerp.
Having announced the CULT partnership in mid-2021, the group has now started its first bundled deliveries. Belgian postal operator bpost was selected to deliver the parcels emission-free to individuals and retail outlets in the city. bpost will distribute not only parcels but also pallets to retail outlets.
CULT is opting for what it calls Green Deal Delivery. The emission-free deliveries will be completed at fixed times, through green transport such as cargo bikes and electric vans. This delivery type also includes couriers who can work in socio-economically responsible working conditions. The transport of the pallets will be done with small trucks on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO). According to the partners, this transport will be fully electric as soon as the technology is economically available to the companies.
The companies taking part in CULT include food company Danone, supermarket company Delhaize, beverage company Jacobs Douwe Egberts, hair and beauty wholesaler Pro-Duo, mobile operator Proximus, telephone service company Telenet and shoe store Schoenen Torfs. Based on the analyses and first test deliveries of the goods from the seven companies in Antwerp, more than a quarter of the number of kilometers driven has been saved and the emissions have been reduced by a factor of approximately 10.
As community manager, the Belgian transport and logistics orchestrator Tri-Vizor has set up the framework so that new companies, as well as retailers in the city center, can quickly join. Within this structure, companies can cooperate transparently and in line with existing regulations. Moreover, this structure is transferable to other cities.
The World Economic Forum predicts that town and city deliveries will increase by 78% by 2030. With the growth of e-commerce, the number of transport movements is expected to also continue to increase in towns and cities. The CULT group has stated that the current logistics system does not yet have sustainable and efficient solutions ready.
Dirk Tirez, CEO of bpost, said, “This project is fully in line with our Ecozone philosophy of sustainable, innovative urban distribution whereby we combine emission-free delivery with an extensive network of collection points and lockers. It is therefore logical that bpost makes its contribution to this. Our ambition is to be the most sustainable e-commerce logistics player in Europe by 2030, with a CO2 -free last mile.”
Alex Van Breedam, initiator and CEO of Tri-Vizor, said, “The more companies bundle their flows in CULT, the fewer transport movements and emissions compared with the situation in which companies operate individually. After all, five deliveries per street is much more sustainable and efficient than one delivery every five streets. And by aligning the goods flows of the companies better – say, making the bundling smarter – a lot of kilometers and emissions can be saved.”
The CULT initiative is receiving financial support from the city of Antwerp as the partnership is part of the Smart Ways to Antwerp urban logistics call for projects, which was launched in July 2020. Petra De Sutter, Minister of Public Enterprises, Public Administration, Post and Telecommunication, said, “Delivering parcels with fewer fuel-powered vans increases the quality of life in a city. It reduces CO2 emissions and traffic jams. CULT helps to achieve these goals by bundling parcels on the outskirts of the city of Antwerp. Currently, we are making the delivery market greener together with the sector. In that sense, CULT is a milestone. The pioneering role played by public companies in the transition to a sustainable economy is now highlighted by bpost and Proximus participating in this project.”
Koen Kennis, Alderman for Mobility at the city of Antwerp, said, “We are making our city more sustainable step by step and we are doing that by working with the right partners. The Smart Ways to Antwerp calls for projects are an ideal way of bringing together entrepreneurs with creative solutions – stronger together, smarter together. CULT is a good example of that.”