Lockers & Hubs in Drenthe
“The locker pilots already running in Mechelen have been really inspirational for us”, according to Rolf Meerbach, Policy Advisor for Traffic & Logistics at the Dutch regional authority. Following a presentation with examples of locker trials in the City of Mechelen, supported by Surflogh, the online meeting with local stakeholders focussed on the social-economic benefits of locker systems at transport hubs. As a mobility connection these hubs ensure that all the advantages of city services remain accessible while interconnecting urban and rural living environments. This fits perfectly with the predominantly rural situation in Drenthe.
“We’re not simply copying the successful pilots of our Flemish partners but have adapted and developed their initiatives to suit our more rural situation. A parcel hub must be designed to fit the local situation and this has also led to new and exciting synergies with the business community in the area,” Rolf continues. “Working with innovative delivery opportunities is energizing! The aim is to create future-proof, sustainable and smart hubs whereby different elements can be tested at different locations…and if something doesn’t work we can change it!”
Implementation & monitoring
The latest locker pilot kicked off on 1st November and currently includes three installations - with a total of 58 lockers at three locations in Drenthe. The lockers can be used by all, are accessible 24/7 and offer a more sustainable, cleaner delivery service. Outcomes of the pilot will be closely monitored in cooperation with a research team from Groningen University (RUG) led by Professor Paul Buijs: “Implementation of the business plan is in the hands of those local entrepreneurs who are keen to try alternative sales and delivery opportunities. We’ll research the viability of parcel lockers at rural transport hubs, including the aspect of customer satisfaction.”
Greening logistics, staying in business
Considering the exceptional circumstances of this past year and the enormous flight of online shopping, the Surflogh partners are confident that parcel lockers at transit hubs can be a valuable delivery alternative - in more ways than one. While greening logistics they may also be a contributing factor to keeping local and regional SMEs in business in these challenging times.