DPD and GLS testing use of city “micro-depots”
In the German city of Nuremberg, DPD and GLS are testing the use of “micro-depots” and emissions-free vehicles like bikes and hand-trucks to provide ecologically sustainable solutions for ‘last mile’ city centre deliveries. The project, which is led by the Nuremberg Institute of Technology and supported by Bavaria’s Interior Ministry, the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce for Central Franconia, and the City of Nuremberg, was officially launched in Nuremberg last Friday (8 April).
In a statement issued on Monday (11 April), DPD said: “The aim of the ‘pilot project for sustainable city logistics featuring CEP services based on the micro-depot concept in Nuremberg’ is to develop innovative solutions for the so-called ‘last mile’ and then test them in practice.
“In two geographically separate field trials, parcels destined for retailers and consumers are to be deposited in centrally located containers, vehicles or buildings. From there the parcel couriers use emissions-free alternatives such as transport bikes or hand trucks, which effectively reduces the impact of traffic on busy inner-city areas.”
Dr. Michael Fraas, Nuremberg’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, commented: “In view of changing consumer habits and the challenges posed by the growth in online retail, bricks-and-mortar retailers need to have the opportunity to supply their customers with goods conveniently and fast.
“CEP services play a key role in this respect. Our pilot project is an important future component for retail operations in the city centre and accordingly for the vitality of the inner city.”
Project leader Prof. Ralf Bogdanski said: “The micro-depot concept with deliveries on foot and the use of transport bikes meets the ecological, economic and social sustainability objectives of municipalities, CEP services and the retail industry to a very high degree. We are especially proud of the fact that two major players in the parcels business – DPD and GLS – are participating in our shared pilot project.”
Gerd Seber, Group Manager Sustainability & Innovation at DPD, added: “Intelligent city logistics is essential when it comes to continuing to supply inner-city retailers with goods and linking the urban population with online retailing worldwide. In this respect delivery concepts based on micro-depots can be a highly effective response to the challenges represented by the growth in inner-city traffic.“
From the summer of 2016 onwards the micro-depots will – on the basis of detailed analysis – be tested in daily operations in Nuremberg, the ideal location for the project. The preliminary planning was carried out by the Federal Association of International Express and Courier Services (BIEK).