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DPD Germany to apply e-mobility throughout Hamburg's city centre

Zero-emission parcel deliveries: DPD Germany to apply e-mobility throughout Hamburg's city centre

Aschaffenburg, 19 November 2018 – By the summer of 2019 at the latest, international parcel and express service provider DPD Germany will be converting its entire parcel deliveries in inner-city districts of Hamburg to electro-mobility. In the Altstadt, Neustadt, Hafencity, St. Georg and Hammerbrook districts as well as in the Steinwerder and Kleiner Grasbrook areas, this means that DPD Germany will soon be making parcel deliveries which are free from local emissions. For this purpose the company is applying a mixture of small vehicles such as cargo bikes and e-scooters, as well as larger vehicles such as fully electric vans and trucks. The purchase of these vehicles is partly subsidised under the scope of the ZUKUNFT.DE initiative. A number of micro depots scattered across the urban delivery areas will enable local distribution of parcels by small, electrically powered vehicles.

  • By the summer of 2019 all of DPD's parcel deliveries in the centre of Hamburg will be free from local emissions
  • No more diesel vehicles in central areas of the city such as the Altstadt, Neustadt, Hafencity and St. Georg
  • Electrically powered vans, trucks, e-scooters and cargo bikes enable environmentally friendly parcel delivery


"E-mobility can be an important answer to the growing challenges of urban parcel delivery," explains Boris Winkelmann, CEO of DPD Germany. "After numerous tests, we are now for the first time switching to fully electric vehicles in Hamburg's city centre. We also hope that this will provide us with valuable insights into the long-term performance of various electric models - especially when it comes to large-scale collection and delivery of parcels for commercial shippers and consignees." 

DPD's zero-emission parcel delivery operations in Hamburg's inner-city will replace 10 conventional delivery rounds. The existing diesel vehicles will be replaced by the following models:

  • VW e-Crafter: with funding from the federal government's ZUKUNFT.DE initiative DPD Germany is already using a number of VW e-Crafters as part of a pre-series test, with two of them operating in Hamburg. This number is now to be significantly increased. With its electric drive train and a range of up to 160 km, the VW e-Crafter is especially suitable for parcel deliveries in the inner city, where short delivery rounds covering a large number of stops are typical.
  • Electrically powered cargo bikes: past experience from other cities indicates that under favourable conditions a cargo bike can almost entirely replace a conventional delivery van. Up to now three cargo bikes manufactured by Radkutsche have been in operation in Hamburg. These cargo bikes are particularly suitable for the delivery of parcels to non-business consignees, who normally only receive one or two parcels per stop.
  • E-scooters: in Hamburg DPD has for the past year been testing two TRIPL scooters made by the Danish manufacturer EWII, with further vehicles of this type in operation in Berlin and Cologne. The TRIPL has a greater range than cargo bikes, and is significantly more manoeuvrable and efficient in urban areas than conventional vans. Whereas van drivers in the inner city constantly have to be on the lookout for somewhere to park, TRIPL scooters as a rule can travel right up to the consignee's front door. This saves both time and travelling distances, and relieves the pressure on inner-city traffic.
  • E-trucks: DPD is testing the use of several fully electric trucks in Hamburg for the purpose of making pickups and deliveries on behalf of large business customers. The company has built up positive experience in this respect in other countries, including the UK where DPD is using the FUSO eCanter from Daimler and Mitsubishi in London, for example. 

While the larger electric vans and trucks can operate from the DPD parcel distribution centre in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, the smaller electric vehicles are based at urban micro depots. These are small sorting and handling centres which are located directly within the urban delivery area. The parcels are delivered to the micro depots in the morning by truck or van, and then distributed within the delivery area by cargo bike or TRIPL scooter. In October of this year, DPD began operations with its first micro depot in Hamburg. The TRIPL scooters are based in an underground garage in Hamburg's Hafencity, where they are charged overnight before being loaded with parcels during the day. 

Both in Hamburg and in other cities, DPD is hoping for greater support from the municipalities in the establishment of alternative delivery concepts, and in particular in the search for suitable locations for micro depots. "Parcel services are already indispensable for cities today, and they are becoming increasingly important both for residents and for retailers," explains DPD Germany CEO Boris Winkelmann. "It is essential for cities and municipalities to play an even greater role in working with us to find constructive solutions for the parcel deliveries of tomorrow."


ZUKUNFT.DE: electrifying parcel delivery 

ZUKUNFT.DE aims at creating customer-friendly, sustainable, flexible and transparent delivery operations based on freedom from emissions. The focus of this major initiative, which is led by the city of Hamburg (with hySOLUTIONS as the coordinating organisation) and covers the three federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Hessen, is the electrification of parcel deliveries along the so-called "last mile". The massive increase in inner-city parcel deliveries due to the growth in e-commerce is leading to a significantly higher volume of traffic. This requires the development of new concepts to ensure emission-free and efficient operations (optimisation of process organisation and land use). Within the framework of the ZUKUNFT.DE project, approx. 500 emission-free e-vans in the 2.8 t (eVito) and 3.5 t classes (e.g. the eSprinter and E-Crafter) from predominantly large-scale industrial production (Daimler and Volkswagen) will be used by well-known operators in the CEP sector (DPD, GLS, Hermes, UPS) in the centres of German cities. In addition to the conversion of vehicle fleets to clean drive technology and practical testing of these e-vehicles, loading and load-space management will also be implemented at the relevant depot locations. In addition, concepts for scalability are being developed for the country-wide deployment of e-mobility deliveries. 

Carbon-neutral parcel transport for all – at no extra cost to the customer 

As part of its group-wide DrivingChange™ sustainability programme, the DPDgroup committed itself as early as 2012 to transporting every parcel for all its customers in carbon-neutral operations - at no additional cost. For this purpose DPDgroup relies on a combination of three interlocking principles: measuring, reducing and offsetting. DPDgroup is the world leader in the voluntary offsetting of emissions which are harmful to the climate. In 2017 alone, 912,731 tonnes of CO2 equivalents were offset by the DPDgroup, which means that the group is responsible for almost 5 percent of all voluntarily offset CO2 emissions in Europe. At the same time CO2 emissions per parcel are continuously being reduced. The target of a 10 percent reduction in emissions per parcel on 2013 levels was achieved as early as 2016.


About DPD Germany

DPD Germany is part of DPDgroup, the second-largest international parcel delivery network in Europe. Throughout Germany DPD has 78 depots and 6,000 Pickup parcelshops. A workforce of 9,500 and 11,000 delivery drivers are in daily operation on behalf of the company’s customers. Every year the No. 2 on the German parcels market ships around 375 million parcels – providing carbon-neutral transport operations at no additional cost to the customer. 

Through innovative technology, local knowledge and dedicated customer care, DPD provides the best possible experience for both shippers and shoppers. DPD’s industry-leading Predict service is setting a new standard for keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery, with real time tracking of their delivery, a one-hour delivery window and a range of options for redirecting parcels. In recognition of this innovation DPD Germany received several awards like the Digital Transformation Award or the UX Design Award. 

As part of DPDgroup, DPD Germany has access to over 32,000 local Pickup points across Europe, and delivers to 230 countries worldwide. DPDgroup’s 38,000 people work together to deliver more than 4.8 million parcels each day. The sole shareholder in DPD is GeoPost, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Le Groupe La Poste. GeoPost posted sales of €6.8 billion in the year 2017. 

Press contact 

Peter Rey
Manager Media & Digital Relations
Wailandtstraße 1
63741 Aschaffenburg
Tel.: +49 6021 492-7066


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