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Logistics Hub

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and the University of Amsterdam have a total of 80 college buildings in Amsterdam, all of these buildings need to be supplied with goods almost daily. The educational institutes joined forces with PostNL and came up with a logistics hub just outside of Amsterdam. The hub prevents smelly, large delivery trucks from driving through the city. Instead, the big trucks deliver their goods to the hub, which are then transported to their final destination by clean, electric vehicles. The use of this hub is an outcome of a study on improving the sustainability of purchasing.

The two universities have a tremendous amount of products and services delivered. They work with 16,000 suppliers. These suppliers make 90,000 delivery trips which translates to 2.8 million driven kilometers every year. For your imagination, that is equivalent to circling the earth 70 times! This enormous number of deliveries is a major burden on the environment and adds to congestion in the city.

As a result of smart redistribution of costs between the suppliers and the educational institutions, the total costs will not be higher than they were. It might even benefit suppliers as they will save money and time by avoiding the traffic jams in the city center. It is more effective for the AUAS and the UVA as well, they have a closer connection to their supply and can store larger quantities in the hub. Above all, this solution contributes to a clean and healthy environment.

The hub uses clean, electrically powered vehicles and bicycles. In the future, the number of trips will reduce as the load in each vehicle will increase.
Next step
A key challenge is to attract additional volume/clients. Another challenge is to connect the different IT systems of clients and suppliers with the hub to ensure an efficient operation.
The two universities are currently in the process of inviting all of their suppliers to supply to the hub. Organizations at the Knowledge Mile (the area along the Wibautstraat) have also been asked to participate.
Want to try it yourself?
  1. Find an ambassador in a key position within your organization.
  2. Start a multi-disciplinary project team.
  3. Analyze your suppliers and get to know these aspects:
    – Amount of supplies delivered per year
    – Total value of the goods delivered
    – Costs of the last mile per shipment
    – Volume and weight (on average) per shipment
  4. Start a pilot and select suppliers that are not vital for the primary process of your organization.
  5. Organize a kick-off with all of stakeholders.
  6. Start with suppliers that are already connected to your hub.
  7. Connect other suppliers one by one.
  8. Communicate with all your stakeholders about the progress and other developments made.
Susanne Balm
Project Leader Sustainable City Logistics at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
"This urban hub is unique because the customers (HvA and UvA) used its procurement power to change the whole supply chain. New partnerships within the supply chain have emerged by bundling various volumes within an existing network. This is a scalable solution for other areas in Amsterdam and for other cities."
Laurens Tuinhout
Partners involved in this project:
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences / University of Amsterdam / PostNL / Deudekom  / Maas / CWS / Canon / Heijmans / Technische Unie
Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences