From sustainable evening delivery to a digital layer over our physical infrastructure, and everything in between: smart and clean city logistics has many facets. They were all discussed at the first live Meetup in a year and a half for the partners and signatories of the Green Deal Zero Emission City Logistics in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (GDZESMRA). And with 17 new signatories on board, there was even more reason to celebrate.
The network surrounding the Green Deal Zero Emission City Logistics MRA is becoming broader and stronger. And so it’s extra nice that we can meet live for the first time on this autumn Thursday, says Richard Hoving, Lead Mobility at the Amsterdam Economic Board and initiator of the Green Deal Zero Emission City Logistics in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. “This is our eighth meeting, but the discussion is far from over. We will continue to need each other.”
Packages from local retailers
There are also all kinds of special start-ups active in the region around smart city logistics. Hurby is a good example of this. Co-founder Mark Fontein takes us through his company at breakneck speed. Companies can register packages via an app, an electric Hurby will collect them from them in the afternoon and then deliver them to customers that same evening. “It is also important that retailers who send through us do not have to pack extra. Even the liquor store can just let us handle a box of wine.”
Hurby is currently active in Haarlem and Amersfoort, but eventually wants to operate from 50 regions. This allows the company to reach 80 percent of households. However, to be able to expand, something is still needed. Fontein: “That’s why we like to get in touch with strategic location partners, financing partners and also national freight carriers that do not yet have a last-mile solution.”
The Amsterdam Transport Region, in which 15 municipalities work together, is working hard on the Regional Implementation Agenda for City Logistics, says network director Ton Geuzendam. “This regional approach is necessary because entrepreneurs now have to deal with different rules everywhere. And we also need to reach those lagging behind better: self-employed workers and SMEs in particular appear to be barely aware of current policy.”
Geuzendam further explains that research shows that the effect of zero-emission zones is not as great as previously thought. “Around Amsterdam, only municipalities within a radius of fifteen kilometers of that zone benefit, beyond that we see no effect at all. And that a regional approach is necessary is apparent from the fact that around three hundred delivery vans drive from Edam-Volendam to Amsterdam and back every day.”
The Regional Implementation Agenda for City Logistics will soon be an umbrella that governments can use for their new policy. Geuzendam: “Of course we also consult with companies about this. We also want to help scale up innovations and pilots. We must now try to remove the barriers to this from the region.”
Digital layer offers flexible use of space
Martijn Pater from Coding the Curbs explains how a digital layer over the physical infrastructure can help us with smart and clean city logistics. “We want to liberate the city with that.” One of the company’s propositions focuses on loading and unloading areas. “Up until now, everyone is just doing something. In principle, there is unlimited access, but a work van can also occupy such a place for a whole day. We therefore want to make those loading and unloading places smart and turn them into places that you can reserve online. For example, we are working on an adaptive city: such a place can also become a terrace at another time.”
In Amersfoort, Pater and his colleagues already conducted a Proof of concept, a pilot is now underway at the loading and unloading area at hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, and Coding the Curbs is being discussed in 5 other cities. “We want every city center to become a smart zone in the future and we are happy to work with this in the Amsterdam metropolis.”
Future food & functional neighborhood hubs
Two calls are being made from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam.
The first concerns participation in the Future Food Logistics Challenge for which companies from the GDZESMRA community can also register. Parties are challenged to come up with smart, clean and fast logistics solutions for food logistics. Companies can submit their challenge and compete for a prize of 2,500 euro.
The second call concerns the start of a one-year research project into multifunctional neighborhood hubs. “Of course, hubs are often on the outskirts of the city, but there is also a great need for logistics space in the city. It’s just expensive. Can’t we combine social, economic and logistic functions? That is the starting point of our research”, explains AUAS researcher Susanne Balm. For the time being, the research focuses on the Weesperstraat in Amsterdam and on a shopping street in Groningen. “Please let me know if you’re interested in this or have ideas for the hubs.”
New entrants, signatures and cava
About sixty parties have previously committed themselves to the GDZESMRA with a signature. Today, another seventeen parties are joining, from real estate developers to catering wholesalers: Cargoledger, Cenex Nederland, OpenWaste, Schneider Electric, CLIC, Alliander, Goodman, Leap24, Bidfood, Pantar, Coding the Curbs, Babboe Pro, Cipiobox, Hurby, Feenstra, HAVI. and EVConsult.
With their signature, they promise to commit themselves to smart and clean city logistics in the near future. And what better way to celebrate than with a toast and a group photo — finally it’s allowed again — and a glass of cava?
Photo: Brenda de Vries