Parcel delivery at pickup point is a lot more sustainable than home delivery

If more internet shoppers have their package sent to a collection point instead of home, delivery vans need to drive around less and therefore emit less CO2. This sounds logical, but has now also been researched by TNO on behalf of branch organisations and Top Sector Logistics.

When 50 percent of the parcels go to a collection point, the bus of the deliverer emits 17 percent less CO2 than when all parcels are delivered at home, according to the TNO simulation.

More parcels on the bus

For corona, about 13 percent of all parcels were delivered to such a pickup point. “The use of pickup points grew, but only slowly,” says Margreeth Pape of “If this goes up significantly, for example to 50 percent, then you can really make a ride more efficient. A van doesn’t only have to drive less, it can also carry more parcels”

Because now a delivery driver is often limited in capacity by the number of addresses he can call at in a working day, while there is still room in the bus for more parcels. “If you can deliver more parcels at one time, you can take more with you,” says Pape.

Less pickup by corona

Because of corona, the use of pick-up points has dropped from 13 to about 6 percent. “We haven’t investigated why people have more home deliveries,” says Pape. “But it’s probably because people think it’s safer now and they’re more at home.”

There are now about 9600 pick-up points in the Netherlands. Of all households, 52 percent have a PostNL parcel point within walking distance, according to earlier research by the Authority Consumer & Market. For a DHL point this is 43 percent of households, UPS 23 percent, DPD 21 percent and GLS 16 percent.

If consumers do not pick up their package on foot or by bicycle, but by car, the environmental benefit is completely lost. “In that case, home delivery is a more sustainable choice,” says Pape.

The sector organisation believes that it is up to consumers themselves to choose between delivery at home or at a pick-up point. “But especially the big cities in the Netherlands are not really equipped for door-to-door delivery. And with the growth of e-commerce, parcel points can offer a solution for the future”, says Pape.

In this special from CCeit on 3 of a while back you can see what happens to the parcels you send back, and what the consequences are of our ordering behaviour: