SURFLOGH - Ready to roll again!

16 February 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
As the dark veil of the pandemic slowly lifts across Europe, the latest SURFLOGH partner exchange took place on 1st February - as a hybrid event in Mechelen. It was time to catch up on status, pilot progress and each other. And, with the opportunity for live meetings on the horizon, to plan next steps and upcoming project events. There’s a lot happening… SURFLOGH is ready to roll again!

Ecozone lockers huge success

Mechelen kicked off the partner presentations with an overview of activities in their region. The EcoZone parcel lockers have proven to be hugely successful. The concept is now being rolled out all over Belgium and our partners in Mechelen have been spotlighted as a leading example! The sharing plan with a zero-emissions van for entrepreneurs in the city has not taken off as well as expected but further campaigning may change that.

Bpost City Hub expansion 

Results are also very positive  for the city’s hub trial in cooperation with bpost so the concept is to be expanded. A second hub is now being planned. To determine the volumes required to make such hubs profitable, an overview of city services is currently being created while the latest pilot on tailor made logistics solutions for a shopping street under construction is due to start this month.

Dual logistics approach

Meanwhile in Groningen, the Municipality is focusing on a dual approach to the city’s logistic challenges with 1) Construction logistics and  2) Service logistics. During a fruitful brainstorm session, held recently with stakeholders, a series of potential pilot ideas were discussed, including:

  • Construction Service Hub  – a joint hub for smaller goods and materials
  • Separating flows – personnel, equipment and material flows are approached differently and transported separately, greener and more efficiently.
  • Joint Service  for the use of large transport (e.g. cranes) – strengthening the business case for sustainable service by joint deployment.

Go Fast still going strong

Groningen also related the continued  commercial success of previous pilots such as Go Fast (still going strong!) and announced some upcoming events, such as the Cargobikathon  (15 – 17 April) and a Sustainable Mobility Polis event (June 14 – 15). 

HUGO - autonomous deliveries 

In Boras the Good Goods pilot data is being evaluated and analyzed - the concept is being considered for new areas in the city. Furthermore, our Swedish colleagues announced an  exciting innovation with autonomous deliveries in the fashion industry (storage to shops) which is to be tested in a two week pilot, now planned for April/May. HUGO is a customer-focused  robot being trialed to contribute to the city’s sustainability goals by reducing emissions, increasing the efficiency of return deliveries, reducing packaging materials and as a green delivery alternative outside standard opening hours.

Continued growth, new opportunities

The Zedify hub in Leith, Scotland, continues to grow and can also be highlighted as another SURFLOGH success. In the extension period the cooperation with Perth West provides new opportunities. The drone trial has caught the interest of DHL and Zedify who are keen to participate, thus strengthening stakeholder engagement. The wider regional freight study is moving to the next phase, involving the appraisal of the business cases for a consolidation centre.

Drones & 'next level' deliveries

Speaking of drones, the bilateral exchanges between SEStran and Drenthe are contributing to further development of the pilots in both regions. Currently, Drenthe is designing a plan of approach to ‘next level’ deliveries - investigating the combination of drones, delivery lockers and hubs.

Cool locker deliveries

The parcel locker pilot in Drenthe  has shown varying success. Of the three test locations, Rolde has been most successful. Research results of the factors contributing to this success is pending, but the trial has been extended for another 12 months and, inspired by the SURFLOGH initiative, lockers are now being placed at three new locations in the province. Moreover, one of the latest pilots will also investigate the viability of  locker hubs for perishable deliveries in cooperation with Izipack (a company producing  simple cool box technology) and local farmers.

Moving forward

Despite pandemic restrictions and imposed limitations, all partners have continued to move forward. Now,  with more ‘live’ meetings planned, the SURFLOGH consortium aims to further intensify this creative collaboration for greening logistics initiatives to improve the air quality and livability of our cities.

You can stay connected and follow SURFLOGH progress on LinkedIn: SURFLOGH Interreg NSR Project and Twitter @surflogh