21 Nov 19

How PostNL aims to go emissions-free by 2030

PostNL aims for emissions-free and congestion-poor deliveries throughout the Benelux countries by 2030. The logistics company was present at the Future Fleet & Mobility Experience (FF&ME) in Barneveld (Netherlands).

About 500 fleet owners and fleet suppliers came together at the successful first edition of the Future Fleet & Mobility Experience, organised by Dutch media fleet-mobility.nl. Three key topics dominated the presentations and discussions on the future of fleet and mobility strategy: Electrification, Connectivity and Mobility.

Obvious edge
While it may be true that those trends are impacting vehicle fleet and mobility management across Europe – both at local and international level – a look at the 32 exhibitors at the FF&ME showed that the Netherlands have an obvious edge. The country is home to many companies at the forefront of both vehicle electrification and alternative mobility.

Many exhibitors showcased services related to EVs and two-wheel-based mobility solutions. Just two examples:

  • Lease a Bike: a platform already operating in Germany and the Netherlands, launching in Belgium in January 2020.
  • The International Bike Group: about to launch a B2B platform under the name ‘HelloRider’.

The event even offered the opportunity to test the use of a drone.

“City of the Future”

One of the companies present at FF&ME already piloting drones is PostNL. “But I don’t think they’ll be in regular use before 2025,” said Anna Paulides, Project Leader City Logistics at PostNL, one of the speakers at the event.

The Dutch former national postal carrier has transformed itself into one of the country’s largest and leading logistics companies. PostNL employs nearly 38,000 people, who help deliver 251 million parcels throughout the Benelux each year. The company has a 65-70% share of the Dutch parcel delivery market and expects to get 50% of its return from e-commerce in 2020.

The ambitiousness of its mobility vision matches the company’s size.

“Our mobility and logistics strategy is oriented towards the City of the Future,” Ms Paulides says. But what does that mean? In short: cities that are CO2-neutral and environmentally friendly, while remaining attractive for citizens, commuters and businesses.

Intelligent system

“We want to be a key partner in this development,” says Ms Paulides. “So two years ago, we started developing a vision for the main cities in the Netherlands. That vision respects the environment and all regulations, targets governmental ambitions in these areas, but also allows us to deploy an intelligent transportation and logistics system.”

That means PostNL’s fleet (1,800 delivery vans, for a total of 3,250 vehicles) must be emissions-free by 2030. It also means PostNL needs to take on board a lot of information: the policies that are in effect in each city, as well as each city’s the historical characteristics and demographic peculiarities; as well as the other transportation and logistics companies operating in each city.

Develop partnerships

PostNL starts conversations with city governments to explain how its vision on sustainable last-mile deliver can benefit those cities. The aim is to develop partnerships that deploy this vision.

  • At present, four major cities in the Netherlands have responded positively to PostNL’s vision: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Groningen and The Hague. 
  • By 2025, PostNL aims to perform its deliveries emission-free and congestion-poor in 25 cities – who the other cities will be, is yet to be determined.
  • By 2030, the company wants to have all its parcel and postal services throughout the Benelux countries delivered emission-free.

The most advanced project so far is in Amsterdam. Here, PostNL is innovating on different fronts.

  • ArenaPoort is a pilot project that makes use of the immense underground parking facilities at Arena Stadium. Those are not used at night – which is when PostNL uses their EV charging stations.
  • A second project that is already live is the collaboration with Simply Mile, a logistics hub that facilitates efficient and emissions-free transportation for multiple companies and organisations in a standardised way (in Dutch: ‘ketenregie’).

PostNL is the key partner for the last-mile delivery. And with this project, PostNL underlines its vision that B2B and B2C logistics will see convergence in the future. 

To learn more about Parcel Delivery and Last Mile Solutions, join us at Fleet Europe’s second Connected Fleets Conference, 28 and 29 January in Brussels. Click here for programme highlights and to register. 


Authored by: Steven Schoefs