Gorillas, one of the Netherlands' first flash delivery companies, is reorganising. The company will cease operations in six Dutch towns. These are Breda, Hilversum, Almere, Alkmaar, Apeldoorn and Enschede. According to the German company, operations in those places are not profitable. In 11 other cities, the company continues to operate. Gorillas is in dire straits. Earlier this spring, it was announced that 300 jobs at head offices and regional offices would be cut. From some countries such as Belgium, the company pulled out altogether. After the meteoric rise of flash delivery companies, Gorillas, Getir, Zapp and Flink have been suffering from headwinds since the beginning of this year. The number of orders per day has stagnated since January, NOS reported based on transaction data from ABN Amro. Moreover, lenders are becoming more cautious now that interest rates are rising.

More parcel pick-up points

North Holland needs more parcel lockers in strategic locations. This will reduce transport movements, cut CO2 emissions and improve road safety because freight transport no longer needs to go through the whole city. More zones should also be established in various cities where only zero-emission commercial vehicles are allowed.

This is according to a report commissioned by the province to promote sustainable urban logistics. RoyalHaskoningDHV mapped current city logistics and spoke to all municipalities in the region about the situation and about wishes and opportunities. On this basis, a local and regional recommendation on sustainable urban logistics was drawn up. Each municipality has a different policy, e.g. window times for loading and unloading or not. Advice is given per municipality; parcel lockers and emission-free zones are particularly promising in every municipality, according to the researchers.

Not ready in time for zero-emissions

Many transport companies in urban logistics are not ready in time for zero-emission zones, which will be introduced in dozens of cities from 2025. This is according to a survey commissioned by ABN Amro. Almost 40 per cent of transport companies surveyed do not plan to switch to electric vehicles before 2030. The transport sector (36 per cent) sees the high purchase cost as the biggest obstacle. Also, 35 per cent state that municipalities' policies are not clear. Currently, only 25 per cent of transport companies operating in urban logistics already have electric transport vehicles. Electric delivery vans are the most popular.

177 employees of transport companies participated in the survey. The companies are active in facility goods distribution, construction supply and supply to supermarkets, other retail and hospitality, and they are active in parcel delivery, among others.

Current supply catering industry too expensive

If transport companies continue to supply the hospitality industry in the current way, it will become too expensive. Worse, provisioning will soon be impossible. So says urban logistics lecturer Walther van Ploos van Amstel of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam in conversation with hospitality platform Entree. He expects supplying the hospitality industry to become more difficult by the year due to regulations on emissions, making cities car-free and the shortage of drivers.

On average, a hotel and catering business has six suppliers for more than 12 deliveries a week, Ploos van Amstel calculates. He sees several solutions: including switching to electric transport, using bicycle couriers and bundling loads.

Antwerpen: 5 V’s voor stadsdistributieplan

Antwerp city council is working on a strategic plan for urban distribution. This contains five principles that should form the basis for a long-term vision of sustainable goods transport in the city. These are the 5 Rs: avoiding transport flows, shifting to more sustainable forms of modality, cleaning up the remaining fleet, connecting flows and stakeholders, and road safety. Among other things, it considers how to reduce the number of trucks in the city. For instance, by transferring cargo outside the city centre to smaller vans, reports Flemish newspaper 'Het Nieuwsblad'. Cooperation between companies in combined goods transport is also being considered. The plan should be ready by spring 2024.