DHL Parcel is going to build a new sorting centre for parcels at the 'De Wildeman' business park in Zaltbommel. The sorting centre will serve as one of the central hubs in which both domestic shipments and those from international webshops from countries such as Germany, America and China can be transported directly to 150 DHL CityHubs spread across the Netherlands. The centralized function with direct connection to all delivery locations offers national and international webshops the opportunity to deliver as late as possible. Half a million parcels will soon be processed daily in Zaltbommel. The construction of this largest sorting centre involves an investment of 84 million euros.
The construction work on the 90,000 m2 plot will start this month and the first packages can be sorted in the autumn of 2019. The construction is in the hands of construction company Hercuton from Nieuwkuijk. Every day, around 200 employees will be involved in the process of supplying, removing and delivering parcels. That means employment for a total of about 350 people.
DHL has deliberately chosen a location on a sustainable business park because this is in line with its ambitious environmental objectives. The sorting centre will comply with the BREEAM sustainability label 'excellent' and will be the first to be completely gas-free. The building will be equipped with enough solar panels to be self-sufficient in terms of power, also for charging electric vans and trucks.
The developments in the field of e-commerce bring with them an enormous growth for DHL in the volume of parcel shipments. In addition, the company is the market leader in the business-to-business segment. The Zaltbommel branch will soon occupy a central place in DHL's Benelux network, which currently includes 15 sorting centres in the Netherlands and 6 centres in Belgium, as well as 150 local DHL CityHubs and 3,000 DHL ServicePoints. This new building is the second in a year and follows the 35 million euros that the company is investing in a new sorting center in Amsterdam that will open this year.
In total, DHL is investing more than 200 million euros in the period 2017-2019. In addition to sorting capacity, this also includes investments in the fleet and IT equipment and software.
Recently, several thousand new hand scanners were put into use. The fleet will soon be expanded again with 300 cars, including 150 self-manufactured electric vans. This brings the number of electric vans to the unique number of 300 for the Netherlands. In addition to these cars, the number of bicycle couriers that DHL uses is increasing by dozens and other electric vehicles such as the Stint are being used.
Wouter van Benten, CEO of DHL Parcel Benelux: "The enormous growth also places a responsibility in terms of sustainability." With investments in sustainable means of production, DHL wants to be a forerunner in the energy transition, which is aimed, among other things, at reducing CO2 emissions: "DHL has set itself the goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025 and even operating completely emission-free by 2050. For us in the Netherlands, that means that we want to be the greenest delivery driver."