DHL Express has started in Groningen (NL) with a CityHub for sustainable city distribution. It is a local operation with a parcel shop function from which cargo bike couriers, in particular, deliver and collect parcels and where consumers can pick up and send shipments themselves.
For larger packages, electric delivery vans are used. The cargo bikes use special centrally pre-loaded standard containers. These are filled with packages delivered to the CityHub and placed there on a special cargo bike, the so-called Cubicycle. This means that the whole fits within the standardized logistics processes of DHL. And that is an important condition for the long-term success of this sustainability-oriented solution.
Groningen and later Tilburg
In addition to Antwerps (B) and Groningen (NL), DHL is also opening a CityHub in Tilburg in the Netherlands this month, and this development is also closely monitored internationally. The Groningen branch, with the city and Haren as its working area, has the scoop and was today festively opened by Bauke Mollema. The professional cyclist arrived at the Cubicycle, a container bike, at the CityHub. There, the shoppers could meet their famous fellow cityman and watch the bicycle couriers at the same time.
The CityHub concept revolves around a container of one cubic meter, with the size of a Europallet of 80 x 120 cm and a height of 100 cm. This is driven to the city with a van and special trailer or a truck to be rolled on a bicycle called the Cubicycle. The same container also fits on a Cubivan, an electric pick-up truck, which is used when routes cannot be efficiently served by cargo bikes.
In all cases, the containers are loaded with shipments at regional branches. The CityHub also acts as ServicePoint for consumers and (e-commerce) companies for the collection, return and sending of especially online orders. This will combine emission reduction and efficiency improvement into a sustainable transport solution.
With the CityHub, Groningen has a worldwide first in the 220-nation express network. The Netherlands is the inventor and testing ground for various sustainable delivery solutions that are used worldwide. This is in line with the stricter environmental objective of DHL that wants to become the market leader in green transport by reducing logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050. That seems far away, but can only be achieved by making it sustainable now.
The CityHubs in Groningen and Tilburg also contribute to this objective. By organizing a CityHub the last kilometers can be done by cargo bike. Every bike replaces a regular diesel car which equals 8 tons of CO2 reduction per year. In Groningen there are three Cubicycles and two electric vans for larger shipments, in Tilburg two Cubicycles and two electric Cubivans are driving. This brings together different proven solutions in a new concept for sustainable urban distribution close to the consumer.
photo: with permission DHL