Rebel with a cause

12 March 2019 - Published by Deirdre Buist
There was great interest amongst various members of the consortium for the ‘trade-off tools’ presented by Rebel during the Innovation lab held as part of the Surflogh partner meeting in Mechelen in February.


The consultants from  RebelGroup, have been hired with a cause. They will assist our Belgian partners with the realization of their pilot and have presented an interesting model to support entrepreneurs’ business cases when transitioning to sustainable logistics. All the participating cities in Surflogh are very interested in investigating the use of this model in their own context.

Rebel sees great added value in the development of flexible, user-friendly and transparent tools to support the City Logistics pilot project and eventually help in the structural roll-out of urban distribution initiatives. There are two ’trade-off tools’ currently under development.

Tool for traders

The tool for retailers aims to:

  • Provide insight into the total logistics chain for retailers, from the first mile to the last mile.

  • Give insight into additional sercives a City Hub can provide and the added value for retailers.

This tool will ’do the numbers’. The costs and benefits of the current situation (deliveries by and cooperation with multiple courier services) are compared with the alternative situation whereby a dedicated city LSP takes care of the delivery (e.g. ECOKoeriers/ ODTH in the case of Mechelen) and who can offer strategic added value services to retailers.

Tool for transport operators

The tool for parcel carriers/ transport operators aims to:

  • Provide insight into the potential savings for carriers and transport operators by making use of using the City Hub (e.g. ECOkoeriers/ ODTH). 

    Again, this is done by analyzing the current cost-benefit situation (direct supply to inner-city retailers) and comparing this with the alternative of delivering to a hub at the outskirts of the city. 

So what’s in it for cities?

Rebel believes that by using these two tools Mechelen and other cities can gain a full understanding of the logistics chain from different perspectives. As a result, policies can be adapted for both the short and long term. City authorities can also use the insights gained to make these city hubs attractive for both retailers and transport operators/carriers alike.

 Rebel also suggests appointing a City Logistics Manager to:

  • Develop one-on-one contact with various traders

  • Demonstrate the added value of logistics services in their specific case, using the tools.

  • Optimize spatial planning (in m2 and m3) within the context of .logistics.

As mentioned before, other cities within the Surflogh consortium are very interested and should they have the opportunity to test these tools, it would be a valuable example of true transnational exchange.