bpost and CityDepot have agreed to join forces, pool their experience and combine their geographic presence to take a leading position on the city distribution market and roll out their service to other parts of the country.
Together they form a new entity: "CityDepot NV". bpost will be the biggest shareholder and will increase its shareholding in the coming years. Marc Schepers, founder of CityDepot, will head up the new entity, which takes over the activities and the 25 employees of the existing CityDepot and City Logistics.
The intention is for CityDepot NV, which is presently active in Brussels, Antwerp and Hasselt, to gradually roll its service out to ten or so additional cities in Belgium.
Koen Van Gerven and Marc Schepers say: "It is the right time to give a new boost to our clever, environmentally friendly city distribution service. That demands more resources and requires us to combine our forces, experience and corporate values, which are highly complementary. Together we will achieve our great ambition to grow throughout the country."
CityDepot, which was formed by Marc Schepers in 2011, was first to launch a city distribution system in Hasselt and subsequently also in Brussels. Goods are consolidated in depots on the outskirts of the city and carried to the final destination in the centre by means of smaller, environmentally friendly means of transport. CityDepot currently delivers annually 70,000 parcels and 15,000 pallets to approx. 2,000 customers.
In 2014 bpost launched a comparable service in Antwerp, under the City Logistics name. Road haulers that have to make deliveries to various places in the city centre and port drop their goods off at a bpost depot at Houtdok. bpost then uses smaller vans to deliver the pallets and parcels to retailers on the same day. At the moment, City Logistics delivers 100 shipments per day in Antwerp city centre for five haulers. Their solid performance was recently highlighted by the OTM Award 2015 it received (Organization of Traffic Managers, the Belgian Association of the Logistic Industry).
These initiatives reduce traffic in the city centre and are an environmentally friendly and economically attractive alternative to disruptive truck journeys. They limit the number of journeys within the city to what is strictly necessary.
The busy road traffic delivering parcels and pallets to city centre retailers creates big transport and environmental problems in built-up areas. Finding a solution to this ever-growing problem is one of the challenges that must be met to protect quality of life in city centres.
Mixed Sorting Machines (MSM): cutting-edge technology to maximise sorting efficiency
bpost has become the first postal operator in the world to bring state-of-the-art mixed sorting machines on stream at its Brussels sorting centre. An MSM is able to sort any item up to one centimetre thick at house number level, that is in the right order for delivery during the mail round. bpost will install twelve MSMs at its five sorting centres this year and plans to double that number over the coming years. The MSMs are of great importance to bpost's large-scale mail delivery restructuring plan "Vision 2020" to centralise mail delivery preparations at the five sorting centres rather than the current 270 distribution offices. This will allow postmen and women to devote themselves to delivering letters and parcels.
Vision 2020 and New Brussels X
The new Brussels sorting centre is a cornerstone of Vision 2020. The environmental permit has been issued and the building permit is expected in the near future. Once the term for appeals has expired construction along the canal in Neder-Over-Heembeek will begin immediately. The relocation to the new site is scheduled for completion by the end of 2017. The new Brussels X will be the biggest of the five Belgian sorting centres, with operational floor space of 70,000m2. It will sort letters for Brussels, Flemish Brabant and national addresses, as well as sorting parcels for the whole of Belgium. Parcel sorting will be completely centralised at the new Brussels X. The new parcel sorting machines that will come on stream in two years will be able to sort 300,000 parcels per day, three times the current capacity. Online stores will be able to drop off their parcels until 2 am for delivery to the end customer just a few hours later.
Koen Van Gerven, bpost CEO, says, "With new activities such as city-centre deliveries, technologic innovations such as MSM and improved customer convenience with regard to parcel deliveries, bpost is able to cope with the fall in traditional mail volumes and systematically raise the efficiency of its working methods."
Piet Van Speybroeck (bpost)
M. +32 477 68 47 12 | T. +32 2 276 21 85
Fred Lens (bpost)
M. +32 495 47 11 52 | T. +32 2 276 22 05
Bart Vandormael (CityDepot)
M. +32 496 55 50 07 | T. +32 11 22 60 22