By Anthony Assemat
Decarbonization objective for Amazon at Toulouse. Like a green strategy carried out in particular in aeronautics by Airbusthe American discount giant has decided to make an ecological shift in the delivery of parcels over the last mile.
Beginnings in Paris
“We started with three bikes to Strasbourg (Bas Rhin), recalls Charles Davous, last mile delivery project manager at Amazon. The idea gradually gained ground and in mid-2020, we launched a larger operation in Paris, a city that has made it possible to develop a responsible and effective strategy on the scale of a large metropolis”.
“Our approach to decarbonizing our activities by 2040 is global. Amazon is investing one billion euros in Europe in this context, including 250 million euros in France. We are playing on several levers: the consolidation of flows to optimize each movement, and the greening of our modes of transport through soft mobility”.
This plan, initiated in March 2022, now concerns ten major French cities: Paris, Bordeaux (Gironde), Lyon (Rhône), Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), Montpellier (Hérault), Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), Rouen (Seine-Maritime), Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), Annecy (Haute -Savoie) and Toulouse (Haute-Garonne).
Three decarbonation levers
In the Pink City, the decarbonization of deliveries has accelerated since the start of the 2022 school year. This strategy is based on three pillars: delivery by electric vehicle, cargo bikes and delivery on foot.
Up to 2000 “green” deliveries every day
The part that already concerns Toulouse is delivery by cargo bike.
“We currently deliver between 1,000 and 2,000 parcels per day in the city center by cargo bike”.
Concretely, when the packages arrive at the giant warehouse located in Langlade (inaugurated in September 2017), south of the Pink City, they are transported in the traditional way (often thermal delivery trucks) to a depot located rue Delpech, near from rue de Metz.
In the perimeter of the city center
From there, they are then delivered to customers’ homes by cargo bike. But within a very specific perimeter, i.e. the entire city center and the interior of the boulevards, plus the Saint-Michel district and on the other side of the left bank of the Garonne, towards Saint-Cyprien and the Allées Charles-de – Fit. “We have to rethink the whole organization because we cannot deliver to a city center by cargo bike from a delivery agency located on the outskirts. This approach requires urban hubs in contact with the area covered by the delivery person,” says Charles Davous.
Who makes deliveries by cargo bike for Amazon in Toulouse?
A few months ago, Amazon France set its sights on the company Senges, which defines itself on its website as the “leader in eco-responsible urban delivery”. The company has activities in Toulouse but also Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne), Bayonne (Basque Country) and Bordeaux (Gironde).
“The Senges group took an early interest in carbon-free urban logistics and is one of the first French companies to have deployed, in addition to electric vehicles, a fleet of tricargo cargo bikes to ensure the last mile in urban environments of more and more pedestrianized”, explains William Gaillard, the manager of Senges. “Senges is a forerunner in fleets of tricycle cargo bikes. And they make efforts on the continuous training of their employees”, indicates Julie Laboureix, the Retail manager of Amazon France.
“In some cities, we can work with several partners on delivery, we adapt to the local and we are pragmatic on the subject. The market is not closed to other companies”, she finds herself.
In Toulouse, logistics are constantly evolving. In Paris, for example, Amazon uses the RATP bus center during the day, when the buses are in circulation. “This makes it possible to optimize the use of a space whose characteristics are compatible with our specifications”, indicates Amazon.
By tricycle cargo bike… for now
On the other hand, Amazon has not yet installed deliveries by electric vehicle or on foot. “We use the usual mode for the Toulouse agglomeration and Occitanie”, indicates Amazon. Either classic deliveries in thermal trucks.
With such an approach, Amazon is in agreement with the gradual deployment of ZFE (Low Emission Zones).
“We started the process in 2017. We did not wait for the ZFEs! We do it because we believe in them”.
Amazon’s long-term goal is to deliver to Toulouse 90% of packages in a carbon-free way, as in the other big cities of France. In 2021, Amazon indicates that it delivered more than ten million packages in France with the ecological prism.
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