We don't need to get rid of Black Friday... But we do need to get rid of the illogical world behind delivering your parcel.
Should we get rid of Black Friday or not? No need, it actually gives a great insight into the ordering behaviour of the average Dutch person. It helps companies prepare for what is to come.
However, the chain that makes sure you receive your package on time needs to work better together.
Black Friday kicks off the festive season every year, but also the busiest period for delivery services. Every year the number of online sales increases compared to the previous year. PostNL* delivers around 1,1 million packages per day, during the holiday period this can increase to 2 million packages.*
Delivery services now know the peak is coming and are preparing for this by putting in extra shifts and staff. By the way, ordering online is more often more sustainable than going to the shop, so there is no immediate shame for a delivery van on your doorstep as a consumer.** There's still reason for worry though because due to the large volume of parcels, the pressure on parcel deliverers increases: longer days, a higher workload. In less and less time, more packages need to be delivered, up to 250 packages in a single trip. This rush has a negative impact on traffic safety. Ideally, residential areas would not constantly be crowded with PostNl, DHL, GLS, Instabox or Jumbo, Crisp, Picnic or Albert Heijn vans. we like living in car-free neighbourhoods, but currently, 50 to 60 delivery vehicles*** still enter a neighbourhood every day. It's not nice when you take your children to school by bike. There's simply no reason why all these delivery services should enter neighbourhoods daily. Everyone understands that this can be done differently. Dutch consumers themselves are already willing to wait a little longer for their package if it means sustainable delivery. 49% van de Nederlanders**** Finds a longer delivery time acceptable. This is why we really need collaboration between delivery services and all involved parties, starting with working together and making agreements.
For example, research can be done per neighborhood when rush hours are measured based on traffic data. But also by delivering only when people are at home, because delivering all packages in one go is the most sustainable option.
To facilitate a healthy collaboration between parties, the role of the government becomes key, with a clear policy but also by showing decisiveness. When designing new neighborhoods, municipalities should from the beginning take into account the importance of city logistics. There are examples of municipalities where this is already implemented, such as Utrecht, Rotterdam and Zwolle. In Utrecht, special 'hubs' are placed in the Merwedekanaal neighborhood close to the city boulevards, with loading and unloading facilities for cargo bikes and unmanned locker walls.
Municipalities can also play a bigger role in providing information: by sharing data on traffic density and traffic safety, so parcel deliverers can take this into account. Finally, municipalities can literally and figuratively give extra space to parties that focus on sustainable innovation. Such as a parcel delivery company that collects parcels outside the city and drives electrically into the city or neighbourhood with one courier, on the way to a parcel locker, without anyone having to stay at home to do so. More and more providers are opting for light electric vehicles that fit the size of the street; such as Coolblue and Zalando delivering with cargo bikes. Or one innovates by taking the air out of parcels; like Bol.com does. There are good initiatives, but they are also badly needed. Mobility is growing, as the demand for parcel delivery but also shop delivery, deliveries to the hospitality industry, construction traffic, service mechanics is only increasing. City logistics and specifically parcel delivery must be improved so that it can be smarter and cleaner. This can be done by using clean electric vehicles, innovative concepts and most of all a clear government policy that supports sustainable home delivery. Such a collaboration is not a utopia to us, but a necessity to serve our customers. For the consumer it does not matter what color the car or bike is in your street, as long as you can receive your parcel in a good and safe manner from a good-humoured driver. Smart, efficient and a lot better for our cities.. sounds great right? For more information, feel free to request a free demo!
Door: - Luke van der Wardt, medeoprichter en CEO MyPup - Walther Ploos van Amstel, Lector Stadslogistiek Hogeschool van Amsterdam - Robert Kreeft, Projectmanager City Logistics Innovation Campus (CLIC), Intospace Bronnen: * = Cijfers PostNL, 2021 **= Cijfers OUTLOOK PAKKETMARKT EN THUISLEVERINGEN, Topsector Logistiek rapport 2020 ***= Parlement & Wetenschap, BEZORGECONOMIE: DE EFFECTEN OP MOBILITEIT, MILIEU EN EN LEEFOMGEVING, 2021 ****= Decartes, Retailers: Duurzaamheid is geen uitdaging, het is een opportuniteit, 2022