DHL Parcel Netherlands opened its latest national, parcel sorting center in Dordrecht on October 18, 2022. This is the fourth one in four years. Sorting centers in Amsterdam, Zaltbommel, and Utrecht have already opened. In 18 months, the sorting center, built according to the strictest, official sustainability standards, has been constructed at the DistriPark Dordrecht sustainable business park located on the banks of the Dordtse Kil River. This sorting center will supply the 132 CityHubs throughout the Netherlands. It also has a direct connection to the 14 regional sorting centers. Its maximum capacity comprises 200,000 parcels per day, which is 15% of the total volume that is processed in the Netherlands on a daily basis. The opening of this CentralHub – the official name of the sorting center – brings a €45 million investment to an end. It was part of an investment program lasting several years. The CentralHub Dordrecht employs 150 people.
Wouter van Benten, member of the Global Management Board of DHL e-Commerce Solutions and CEO of DHL Parcel Benelux, tells us more about the latest addition to the network, “We are seeing growth in market share by investing in capacity and quality. This addition allows us to continue being a leader in the Dutch market, including in terms of sustainability and good working relationships.”
Strictest Sustainability Standards
CentralHub Dordrecht is as big as ten soccer fields and has been constructed according to the strictest BREEAM certification requirements, gaining five stars “outstanding.” That is reflected in the material used, such as sustainable wood to construct the roof. Solar panels have been fitted to the roof in order to provide energy during the day. Any extra electricity that needs to be purchased is from renewable sources. There is no gas connection. The roofs to the outbuildings are covered in a layer of vegetation, and grass grows between the concrete flagstones on the parking lot. All the green spaces are designed to attract insects and small animals such as bats and hedgehogs. Inside, there is plenty of natural light.
27 New CityHubs
Parcels are delivered from sorting centers like the CentralHub Dordrecht to 132 CityHubs located across the Netherlands on the outskirts of urban areas. From there, small delivery vans cover the last few miles during short delivery trips to bring the parcels to the recipients. These CityHubs are also profiting from an investment scheme to improve sustainability and increase capacity. Over the next three years, 27 new, climate-neutral CityHubs* will be built from scratch according to the five-star, outstanding BREEAM certification requirements for sustainability and the latest needs in the logistics industry. Five new CityHubs have already opened this year in Almere, Zoetermeer, Geleen, Breda, and Nijmegen. A sixth will open next month in Tilburg. Construction has already started at five locations across the country or is due to start, and suitable sites are being sought in another ten places. Parcels are delivered only using electric delivery vans from these new CityHubs.
Moving Towards a Zero-Emission Last Mile in 2023
The final delivery to the recipient plays a vital role in making the delivery and sorting process for online orders more sustainable. For this reason, DHL has been increasing the number of electric vehicles in its fleet at a rapid pace. DHL Parcel Netherlands is racing ahead and replacing its fleet with electric vehicles that will number 2,000 by the end of this year. Another 500 electric delivery vans will be added next year. Vehicles that are not electric will run on HVO-100 diesel – a biodiesel that produces 90% less CO2 emissions. DHL Parcel Netherlands is committed to being a zero-emission organization by mid-2023. The number of service points in the Netherlands has since increased to around 4,000, while the number of parcel lockers will soon grow to 500. These delivery options enhance our move towards sustainability, alongside the many digital intervention options available to Dutch recipients when choosing a precise delivery window and delivery to an agreed location or to a service point.
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*The 27 new CityHubs will be built at the following locations:
Almelo, Almere, Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Oost, Amsterdam-Zuid, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Breda, The Hague, Ede, Emmen, Geleen, Gouda/Waddinxveen, Groningen, Haarlem, Helmond, Hendrik Ido Ambacht, Hoofddorp, Leeuwarden, Leiden, Nijmegen, Roermond, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Utrecht, Zaandam, and Zoetermeer.