Last year, the idea was innovative: removals company Hulshoff built a large logistics base along the A5, complete with 3,100 solar panels on the roof to charge a whole series of electric vehicles. The plan was to put part of Hulshoff’s fleet of vehicles to work as a smarter way of supplying Zuidas. Rather than having hundreds of suppliers separately doing the last mile through this busy city district, they could drop off their deliveries at the Hulshoff base. Then, at fixed times, Hulshoff, would use their electric vehicles to deliver bundles of items right to the door of companies who subscribed to the scheme.
Twenty times a day
Reduced traffic, fewer traffic jams, less danger, noise and exhaust fumes are obviously an advantage for everyone. Companies that subscribed also enjoy other benefits from the service. ‘There’s now no longer any need for someone to go to the door ten or twenty times a day to receive a package from an unknown person’, says Ger Hulshoff, who set up the experimental arm of the company with his son Gerry. ‘When you use our services, you always get the same delivery person at the door, complete with VOG (Certificate of Good Conduct).’
Coffee and paper
To publicise the experiment, there were large roadside billboards, Hulshoff became an active member of the Green Business Club, and it also funded the pilot. Ultimately, 11 companies subscribed as customers. Together, they selected 35 suppliers to take part. It mainly involved items that are always in the building and do not need to be chilled, such as paper and coffee. Fresh food and drink and packages for employees were not included yet.