Smart urban delivery

Improving everyday urban life by giving greater delivery choices, while reducing our impact on the road

Covering less than 3% of the total land space in Europe, yet hosting more than 73% of its population[1] cities are buzzing hubs of innovation, culture and productivity. However, this increasing urbanisation also brings its share of issues - from denser and more congested city centers to air pollution-related illnesses, causing more than 400,000 premature deaths in Europe each year[2]. More than 80% of citizens in Europe are currently living in areas breaching the World Health Organization pollutant limit.

As a delivery and transport company, DPDgroup is looking to adapt to these challenges, by limiting its impacts on the roads and contributing to the creation of new urban logistics landscapes. Using innovation and last-mile logistics, we are developing user centric solutions to tackle urban issues – all the while simplifying our services for our customers.

2017 key figures

Average age of fleet
vs. 5.07 in 2016
Local pollutants emissions
kg nitrogen oxide per km
kg particulate matter per km
2016 vs 2017
Pickup points in Europe
vs 28,000 in 2016

2017 actions

  • The addition of 2,000 vehicles complying with Euro 6 standard
  • The launch of an internal working group dedicated to European urban logistics
Pilot and deploy smart urban delivery solutions throughout our 19 European Business Units
  • We reduce the impact of our final delivery fleet
  • We propose greater delivery choices to improve everyday life

We improve

We propose

We improve the impact of our final delivery fleet

DPDgroup’s impact in urban areas is mainly attributable to its pick-up and delivery fleet. This fleet is composed of 38,000 vehicles, which travelled a total of 1.2 billion kilometers in 2017.
By using light commercial vehicles for last mile operations and limiting the level of pollutants emitted, we are able to minimize congestion and pollution in city centers.
In 2017
Pickup and delivery vehicles
1.2 billion

Finding sustainable solutions to urban logistics

In 2017, DPDgroup launched an internal working group dedicated to urban logistics, with the aim of finding solutions to a two pronged challenge: the rise in delivery demands in city centers, coupled with stricter circulation restrictions in European cities.
This has enabled the launch of multiple low emission initiatives, currently being trialled in 12 countries. Solutions include:
  • Deploying a low emission delivery fleet:
    New modes of transport are tested and deployed: natural gas, bio natural gas, electric vehicles, bicycles and deliveries made by foot.
  • Using “micro depots” and “urban depots”:
    Smaller depots, situated closer to high density areas, allow cleaner deliveries, such as bicycles or foot.
  • Anticipating new legislation:
    Engaging closely with stakeholders allow us to anticipate and react quickly to up and coming legislation, such as the diesel ban, which is being increasingly set across Europe.
Case study
To make progress on its commitment to sustainable delivery, SEUR is taking action in urban logistics on many fronts. It has received a Sustainable Ideas award from Actualidad Económica, a Spanish business magazine, which selects the 100 best ideas launched during the year.
In Barcelona, SEUR is trialling new urban logistic projects where it has identified high density areas and assigned deliveries to the most appropriate delivery resources:
  • Deliveries of 1 kg or under are conducted by a courier on foot
  • Deliveries of 2 kg or under are conducted by bicycle/tricycle
  • Deliveries over 2kg are made by vans.
These resources, managed by “micro depots” - smaller logistics centers, located in the heart of cities - allow us to operate closer to recipients, shortening our delivery distances and minimising the emissions and other negative impacts associated with the “last mile”. In this way, SEUR has delivered 170,000 shipments via alternative means each month and has reduced its CO2 emissions by 16% per package delivered.
SEUR has equipped more than 25 Spanish cities of an alternative fleet, made up of CNG and LPG vehicles, but also electric bicycles, tricycles, and ‘walkers’. It has acquired 100 new Fiorino Compressed Natural Gas for a sustainable distribution in Madrid and Barcelona, the largest CNG fleet sold to date by Fiat Professional in Spain. The fleet will be progressively deployed in the coming months.

Limiting pollutants

DPDgroup measures two air pollutants in particular – both a direct consequence of our delivery activity: particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Unlike greenhouse gas emissions, which have a global impact, these pollutants, emitted by all vehicles, represent a local health hazard. DPDgroup is therefore actively replacing its “conventional” diesel and petrol delivery vehicles with alternatives, such as electric vehicles, bio gas vehicles or bicycles.

We use the Euro Standard, which defines the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions and pollutants, to measure the impact of our fleet. The standard currently has 6 stages ranging from Euro 1 (worst performing) to Euro 6 (highest performing vehicles), and cities around Europe are increasingly taking measures to reduce pollutant concentration. We are taking active steps to improve our fleet - 70% of our fleet is now ranked Euro 5 or 6, and 2,000 new Euro 6 vehicles were deployed in 2017 – a third of the total fleet deployed.

DPD Estonia has adopted a clause preventing the use of vans over five years old, and has negotiated a special agreement with car dealerships, encouraging subcontractors to use newer, more efficient vehicles. As a result, DPD Estonia has one of the newest DPD fleets globally, with an average of 2.58 years per delivery vehicle.

We propose greater delivery choices to improve everyday life

Citizens are seeking ease and rapidity in all aspects of life. Services such as e-commerce, allow customers to save time, money and have access to a greater choice of products.
While just 5 out of 10 internet users in the European Union made an online purchase in 2007, this number reached almost 7 out of 10 in 2017. This rise in online shopping and deliveries creates significant challenges in urban areas – as they become denser, cities need to remain liveable and guarantee a good quality of life to their inhabitants.
This is one of the challenge that DPDgroup set itself: To improve everyday life by offering greater delivery choices. By listening to our customers, we have designed user centric solutions: innovative products and services that truly respond to citizens’ needs, providing more flexibility and freedom to customers, while increasing delivery efficiency.
Predict allows customers to stay informed of the exact time their parcel will be delivered. Specific delivery information is sent via text or email the day prior to the delivery. This service – offered as an option to our clients - helps improve our efficiency and our environmental impact – first analysis show that CO2 and pollutant emissions (PM and NOx) from last mile deliveries are reduced by an average of 4% compared to a standard delivery.
Pickup offers customers a flexibility in delivery, via the ability to send and receive parcels from the Pickup point of their choice. This service allows them to collect the parcel at their convenience, close to their work or home, while making our service more efficient by limiting the number of deliveries and distances between them. We are constantly developing our Pickup network and now have over 32,000 Pickup points across Europe.

Discover our smart urban delivery initiatives


Discover our CSR indicateurs