Smartmile is launching a partnership with DHL Express in the Netherlands today. The pilot consists of a number of locations in the Utrecht region. By integrating a second courier, Smartmile is realizing its vision of building an open and shared delivery infrastructure with a goal of reducing the footprint of delivery.
There is a growing number of deliveries in the Netherlands; with 586.3 million parcels delivered to Dutch addresses in 2020 (ACM, 2020), the logistics sector is facing major pressures. This does not only show in the increasing shortage of drivers (IRU 2021) and the increasing popularity of same-day delivery among consumers, but also, in the rising CO2 emissions, that are further exacerbated by the number of failed deliveries.
In response to these challenges, Smartmile is building an international network of autonomous parcel lockers (Smartmile Hubs) at frequented locations. Any courier can use the parcel machines to serve entire neighborhoods in one stop, which minimizes failed deliveries and ensures that in total, fewer vans need to enter the city centers compared to home delivery or closed systems.
Frank van Os, CCO Smartmile said: “We are happy with our new partner DHL Express Netherlands. Together we are making an important step in the development of an open and shared infrastructure of parcel lockers. With this, we not only ensure an increasingly sustainable ‘last mile’, but we also offer consumers the convenience of collecting, returning and sending more and more packages at a location of their preference.”
Kees van Soest, Operation Manager Retail DHL Express said: “We want to offer our customers a more flexible solution when sending and receiving parcels. At the same time, sustainability is a clear business priority for DHL Express. The goal is to reduce all logistics-related CO2 emissions as much as possible. The Smartmile solution helps us meet both goals.”
Consumers can pick up, return, and ship packages from multiple couriers in one go.