Smart and sustainable freight transport
As a retailer, we take our responsibility to ensure smart and sustainable freight mobility. We avoid kilometres on the road and choose alternative means of transport wherever possible. And if road transport is necessary, we look for the greenest possibilities. Indeed, by 2035, we will switch entirely to zero emission transport.
Avoid unnecessary kilometres
To avoid unnecessary kilometres, we seek an optimal load factor of the lorries that deliver goods to our stores. We're able to do this thanks to centrally located distribution centres, smart transport planning, compact packaging and mixed transports. For example, we avoid transport with separate refrigerated lorries thanks to our refrigerated and frozen product containers with liquid ice. We also try to organise the transport flows from the suppliers to our distribution centres as optimally as possible, with a maximum load factor of the lorries.
load factor of the trucks supplying the Colruyt stores in the financial year 2022/23
less in the financial year 2022/23 thanks to barge transport in Belgium
Modal shift: shift to alternative means of transport
The transport of goods is scheduled as much as possible to times when it is not too busy on the road. For deliveries during off-peak hours, we invest in quiet trailers, low-noise transport pallets and covered unloading bays to avoid any inconvenience. We also encourage our suppliers to avoid peak moments on the road.
'Shift' also means that we opt for alternative, more environmentally friendly means of transport. More than half of the international goods for which we organise transports are carried out by train or ship. In Belgium too, we save on lorry trips by using barge transport: barges transport many containers from the Port of Antwerp to Brussels.
Greening our freight transport
We are fully committing to zero emission transport. By 2035, all the freight transport carried out by and for Colruyt Group will be zero-emission across the entire value chain. We will do this by gradually switching to battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles.
We look into the possibilities of alternative and renewable fuels as much as possible. We strongly believe in using all options available, where fuels and vehicle technologies are complementary for specific applications. When evaluating alternatives, we take into account different environmental impact categories: in addition to CO2 emissions, we also want to consider other emissions such as fine particles or nitrogen.
We strongly believe in the potential of green hydrogen as a clean and renewable fuel. We're the first in Europe to test heavy duty prototypes and demonstration models and, through DATS 24, we are helping to build the hydrogen infrastructure. We're also testing the possibilities of electric driving with a view to quiet and emission-free deliveries in an urban context. In 2021, we made our first fully electric delivery to a Colruyt store in Brussels. Several electric terminal lorries are also currently operational in our distribution centres.
*These tests fit within the context of various European projects:
- Hydrogen region 2.0: project funded within the Interreg V Flanders-Netherlands programme, the cross-border cooperation programme with financial support from the European Fund for Regional Development. For more information, please go to border area.eu.
- H2 Share: project funded within the European cooperation programme Interreg North-West Europe. For more information, please go to nweurope.eu.