The World Economic Forum predicts an increase of 78% in town and city deliveries by 2030. With the strong growth of e-commerce, the number of transport movements will continue to increase in our own towns and cities, too. The current logistics system does not yet have sustainable and efficient solutions ready. Everyone has at times wondered why three delivery vehicles are delivering simultaneously on the same street.
With the idea of reducing the kilometrage and emissions of urban deliveries, Danone, Delhaize, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Pro-Duo, Proximus, Telenet and Schoenen Torfs announced the CULT partnership in mid-2021. The aim: smart bundling of goods on the outskirts of the city and then delivering them in the city emission-free.
Deliveries in Antwerp
Today, the CULT partnership officially starts with the first bundled deliveries in the city of Antwerp. bpost was selected to bundle the parcels of the participating companies in Antwerp-X and then deliver them completely emission-free to individuals and retail outlets in the city. bpost will not only distribute parcels, but also pallets to retail outlets. The transport of these pallets will currently still be done with small trucks on HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil), as soon as the technology is practically available this transport will also be fully electric.
“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,” says Dirk Tirez, CEO of bpost.
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 is saved and the emissions are reduced by a factor of almost ten.
“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,” says initiator and CEO of TRI-VIZOR, Alex Van Breedam. “And by aligning the goods flows of the companies better - say, making the bundling smarter - a lot of kilometers and emissions can be saved.”
CULT's ambition extends beyond the present group of companies in Antwerp. As community manager, TRI-VIZOR has set up the framework so that new companies as well as retailers in the city center can quickly and easily join. Within this structure, companies - even competing players - can cooperate transparently and fully in line with existing regulations. Moreover, this structure is easily transferable to other cities.
Green Deal Delivery
CULT is opting for what it calls “Green Deal Delivery”, with deliveries at fixed times, completely emission-free, with green transport such as cargo bikes and electric vans and with couriers who can work in socio-economically responsible working conditions. It aims to actively contribute to the significant mobility and environmental challenges that towns and cities face today.
Petra De Sutter, Minister of Public enterprises, public administration, post and telecommunication : “Delivering parcels with less 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.”
Collaboration with Smart Ways to Antwerp
This partnership and the deliveries in Antwerp are part of the Smart Ways to Antwerp urban logistics call for projects. This call for projects was launched in July 2020. The selected projects will contribute to smooth and efficient urban logistics. The ambitious CULT initiative is receiving substantive and financial support from the city of Antwerp.
Koen Kennis, Alderman for Mobility at the city of Antwerp : “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”.