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CityDepot takes off in Brussels

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2015-01-29 – Four months after its arrival in Brussels, CityDepot has already won over more than 800 Brussels companies with its user-friendly distribution model. The project has managed to keep trucks out of the city centre by taking care of the last part of the journey between supplier and company with electric vans. ‘Everyone is a winner in this model,’ commented the Brussels Regional Minister for Mobility, announcing the results. ‘The people of Brussels will see fewer trucks in the city and retailers will receive a made-to-measure service.’

CityDepot specialises in urban goods distribution, and started a pilot project in Brussels in October, with the support of the Region and the European project LaMiLo (Last Mile Logistics). The idea is simple: hauliers no longer deliver their goods individually to each store or business in the city centre, but to the CityDepot warehouse outside the city centre, near the Canal (TIR, 2 rue Dieudonné Lefèvre, 1020 Brussels). From there, the goods are transported to city centre businesses in small eco-friendly vehicles. 

The Royal Palace

Four months on, the overall picture is positive. Brussels’ retailers and national carriers were quickly won over by the idea. CityDepot already supplies more than 800 customers, and the number is growing week by week. Since the beginning of the initiative, the delivery volume has tripled. The main sectors that are served are retail (31%), hotels (15%), businesses (13%), wholesalers (12%) and hospitals (10%). The list of customers includes well-known names such as the Hotel Métropole, KVS (the Royal Flemish Theatre), the Ancienne Belgique and the Royal Palace.

If the project receives a positive evaluation after six months, the Brussels Region will continue to support CityDepotand the company will be able to carry on expanding its activities in Brussels. The Brussels Minister of Mobility takes a positive view of progress so far: ‘Creative solutions like this are of vital importance for the business climate, for the transport tangle that we need to sort out and for the quality of life of people in Brussels. It is therefore no fluke that an approach like this has immediately proved its worth. In the long term, the ambition is to develop this model as far as possible in Brussels.’

Delivery of supplies with cargo bikes

Starting in February, a partnership is planned with the bicycle delivery service Ecopostale, which will supply traders by bike. ‘With our mixed fleet of 15 vehicles (bicycles, cargo bikes and a small electric van), we have provided a carbon-neutral delivery service for over four years now, handling hundreds of packages a day. It therefore made sense for us to participate in the CityDepot project,’ explains Nicolas Etienne, general manager of Ecopostale.

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