bpost Group and the city of Mechelen launch a pilot project for zero-emission delivery of letters and parcels in urban areas

Full deployment planned by 2022

At a time when we buy more and more online, bpost Group takes the reins of sustainable urban delivery by offering Belgian cities new solutions aimed at reducing the impact of the parcels and letters delivery and transport on the mobility and climate, while ensuring sustainable jobs. For its part, the city of Mechelen is also constantly looking for solutions to improve the quality of life of its citizens. It is therefore not surprising that the two parties, bpost Group and the city of Mechelen, are joining forces in this area.

bpost Group and the city of Mechelen are taking the lead by deploying an eco-responsible postal code that proves that customer satisfaction, service, quality of life and innovation go hand in hand. During a two year-period, this active collaboration will focus on studying and implementing projects by phases for sustainable solutions. These efforts echo the vision supported by bpost, which intends to offer to a maximum of Belgian cities an emission-free delivery of mail and parcels.

Vicky Vanmarcke, deputy burgomaster for mobility: “Mechelen has big ambitions and wants to achieve a 40 % reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. Pilot projects and collaborations with the logistics sector will be decisive in this regard. Knowing that 8% of downtown traffic is linked to missed home deliveries, this innovative project offers us an ultimate opportunity to reduce this percentage.”

First phase: installation of 20 additional parcel lockers in town

The real backbone of this eco-responsible initiative, adding 20 parcel lockers enables to strengthen the network of bpost pick-up points accessible on foot. In a subsequent phase, this number will be increased, up to a maximum of 50 parcel lockers in the 2800 postal code area, which should encourage people from Mechelen to pick up their parcel on foot or by bicycle. Parcel lockers are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Users are therefore free to choose for themselves when they want to collect or send a parcel. The city will decide in the coming weeks with bpost on their location and their look.

With the post office, the parcel point and the 5 post points already present in the city, these additional parcel lockers form a complementary network of bpost services adapted to the needs of each citizen in Mechelen. Bpost's zero emission vehicles, such as the special electric "colibuses" and cargo bikes, ensure ecological delivery of letters and parcels. In doing so, the city of Mechelen takes a new step in improving air quality.

A growing network

Jean-Paul Van Avermaet, CEO of bpost Group: “As a company, we want to play a leading role in terms of sustainable e-commerce. Thanks to this partnership with the city of Mechelen, we are taking a first step in the right direction and are offering to the citizens of Mechelen an evolving network of services which complement and reinforce each other perfectly. We naturally hope that this will also inspire many other cities and we will soon begin negotiations on this topic with the interested parties”.

Smart apps

The collaboration with bpost Group was born within the framework of the European project “Surflogh” (Smart Urban Freight LOGistics Hubs) in which the city of Mechelen takes part. This project, which focuses on sustainable urban delivery, had already given rise to contacts between bpost and the city for the establishment of 4 smart parcel lockers.

Marina De Bie, deputy burgomaster for sustainability and the smart city: “The sustainability of urban delivery is a fine example of how we are counting on smart apps to achieve municipal goals: smart parcel lockers spread around the city improve user services and reduce the number of kilometers traveled at the same time. This is important if we want to lower the CO2 emissions linked to mobility in our city. Bpost organising zero emission transport to and from parcel lockers, this climate victory is even greater. All of these efforts will also lead to an improvement in the quality of life in our streets.”

The test phase of the project will start in August in collaboration with local retailers. The development and support of new services supporting the local and circular economy are on the agenda. In a next phase, other types of zero emission vehicles and consolidated deliveries will also be tested. The implementation of the project should be finalised in 2022.

Source: bpost

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