GLS expands network of "green" depots in Europe

European parcel and express delivery firm GLS is expanding its network of “eco-depots” with new facilities in the Netherlands and Belgium. The company has just started operating its seventh such facility, in Enschede, eastern Netherlands, and is also now beginning construction on an eco-depot in Puurs, Belgium.

GLS has been developing “green” logistics depots since 2008 on its “Think Green” initiative, ensuring that replacement facilities minimise environmental impacts.

They use technology like heat pumps and efficient lighting systems to cut greenhouse emissions

The EUR 2.3m Dutch facility provides 1,500 square metres of space, 38 loading bays and sorting equipment to process 5,000 packages each day.


Construction started yesterday on the new EUR 10m eco-depot in Puurs, Belgium, which will have 3,650 square metres of space and will eventually be capable of handling 50,000 packages each day.

It is to replace two smaller GLS sites in Antwerp and Vilvoorde that the company said no longer have room to expand, but will also have a good strategic location between Antwerp and Brussels.

Much bigger than the Dutch eco-depot, the first Belgian GLS eco-depot will have 115 loading bays for fast turnaround times, but like the Enschede facility will use recyclable materials and energy-efficient technology.

Along with the heat pump system to cut emissions and save 40% of operating costs, the new building will feature solar panels and a rainwater harvesting system.

GLS will also be adopting a new transport system in 2013, starting with the new eco-depot, which will transform the efficiency of its Belgian network.

The new system will cut out a stop at the GLS Belgium hub in Brussels to shorten transit time and save on fuel and emissions.

Fritze said: “Puurs is the first depot which we will mainly switch to direct deliveries – both nationally and internationally.”

GLS, which covers 42 European countries, currently has 642 depots and 38 hubs.

The company carried 363m packages in the 2010/11 financial year, generating a EUR 1.75bn turnover.

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