DHL eCommerce has opened its fourth new national parcel sorting center in four years in Dordrecht on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Earlier it was the turn of Amsterdam, Zaltbommel and Utrecht. At sustainable business park DistriPark Dordrecht along the Dordtse Kil River, a sorting center has risen in eighteen months to the highest official sustainability standard. From this sorting center, the 132 CityHubs around the country will be supplied. In addition, there is a direct connection to the 14 regional sorting centers. The maximum capacity is 200,000 parcels per day; about 15% of the volume processed daily. The opening of this CentralHub, as the sorting center is officially called, completes an investment of €45 million, as part of a multi-year investment program. The CentralHub Dordrecht will employ 150 people.
Wouter van Benten, member of the Global Management Board of DHL's eCommerce division and CEO of DHL eCommerce Benelux, on the latest addition to the network: "By investing in capacity and quality, we are seeing a growing market share. With this, we are increasingly setting the tone in the Dutch market; also when it comes to sustainability and good labor relations."
Sustainable and unique network
DHL eCommerce has grown solidly in recent years. In consumer delivery, DHL now has a 40% market share by 2021. The company is also showing positive growth in 2022. That share was achieved thanks to an investment program that amounts to 600 million euros from 2018 through next year. Investments relate to sorting and delivery capacity, sustainability in buildings and electrification of the delivery fleet and digitalization through apps with recipient intervention options, among others. Furthermore, with the growth in the number of employees, to now more than 10,000, an organizational culture with short lines of communication and cross-functional teams has been built. Much attention is paid to the sustainable employability and development of staff, with DHL employing the majority of delivery staff itself.
This development has resulted in a decisive organization and a digitally supported network, which through a combination of national, regional and local hubs and local service points can respond to changing capacity needs at webshops and offer diverse service windows to recipients.
Highest sustainability standard
CentralHub Dordrecht measures ten soccer fields and was built according to the highest BREEAM sustainability requirement: 5 stars 'outstanding'. This is reflected in the materials used, such as the roof construction made of sustainable wood. On the roof itself there are solar panels, which provide for energy use during the day; electricity purchased is green. There is no gas connection. The roofs of outbuildings are overgrown and in the parking lot greenery grows between the concrete tiles. All greenery is designed to attract insects and small animals such as bats and hedgehogs. Inside, there is plenty of natural light.
27 new CityHubs
From sorting centers such as CentralHub Dordrecht, parcels are delivered to the 132 CityHubs, which are located throughout the Netherlands on the outskirts of urban areas. From there, small delivery trucks make the final kilometers to the recipients in short delivery rounds. These CityHubs are also undergoing an investment process toward further sustainability and increased capacity. Over the next three years, 27 CityHubs* will be newly built; all climate-neutral, built to the BREEAM outstanding 5-star sustainability standard and to the latest logistics requirements. Five new CityHubs have already opened this year, in Almere, Zoetermeer, Geleen, Breda and Nijmegen. A sixth will open next month in Tilburg. In twelve locations around the country, construction has started or is about to start, and in ten locations suitable plots are still being sought. Only electric delivery vans will be driven from the new CityHubs.
Towards a fossil-free last mile by 2023
In making the transport and sorting process of online orders more sustainable, the final delivery to the consumer plays an important role.
In that context, DHL is rapidly electrifying its fleet of vehicles. With 2,000 electric delivery vans by the end of this year, DHL is leading the way in electrification. Another 500 electric delivery vans will be added next year. What cannot yet be electric will switch to HVO-100 diesel. An alternative fuel with up to 90% less CO2 emissions. DHL has set its ambition to be fossil-free by mid-2023. The number of service points has now grown to 4,000 and the number of parcel lockers will also increase to 500 in the near future.
The sustainability effect of these delivery options is enhanced when combined with all the digital intervention options that recipients have in choosing precise delivery windows and delivering to an agreed location or to a service point.
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*The 27 new CityHubs to be built will be in the following locations:
Almelo, Almere, Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Oost, Amsterdam-Zuid, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Breda, Den Haag, Ede, Emmen, Geleen, Gouda/Waddinxveen, Groningen, Haarlem, Helmond, Hendrik Ido Ambacht, Hoofddorp, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Nijmegen, Roermond, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht, Zaandam, and Zoetermeer.