Goods transport: reduce, transfer, make greener

By the time your groceries end up in your shopping cart, they've already travelled far: from the supplier to the distribution centre to the shop shelves. Colruyt Group trucks crisscross the entire country each day. They do this as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

Full trucks, less mileage

It’s a shame if a truck drives half-empty. It creates unnecessary traffic, consumption and emissions. That's why we invest heavily in software for intelligent transport planning and why our trucks are always at least 95% loaded when they drive from the distribution centres to the shops. And on the way back, our trucks are just as full, e .g. because they are taking back residual flows from the shops.

Colruyt truck
Our trucks always drive at least 95% full.

Our suppliers are also committed to maximising the bundling of goods. By means of various collaborations, incoming deliveries are now 77% loaded when they arrive at our distribution centres. Have you heard of ecocombis? These are longer trucks that can transport the same amount of goods with fewer journeys. Less mileage, means better for the environment.

Truck at dusk

Avoiding peak times

Our truck drivers avoid peak hours and traffic jams as much as possible. 49% of the time, our shops are restocked between 7 pm and 7 am. Why? So that trucks don't make traffic jams worse and we avoid extra crowding on the roads. What’s more, not only is this more (cost-) efficient, it also avoids unnecessary fuel consumption and improves road safety. To make deliveries as quiet as possible, we invest in training for our truck drivers, quiet trailers, low-noise pallets and covered loading docks at our stores.

We also encourage our suppliers to avoid peak times on the road. 23% of deliveries to our distribution centres are made at night.

Distribution centre Ollignies at night
Almost half of deliveries to our shops are made between 7 pm and 7 am.

A cleaner fleet

All our trucks comply with the European emission standard Euro 6. They therefore emit less nitrogen and particulate matter than previous generations. But we’ve gone one step further in exploring the potential of alternative and clean fuels. We already have two CNG lorries in our fleet. At our logistics sites, we are testing two electric terminal trucks to transport trailers. That is more pleasant for the driver and the environment.

Technician does truck maintenance
The mechanics in our garage keep our trucks roadworthy.

On land, at sea and by rail

Of course, you can avoid kilometres on the road by choosing other means of transport. The majority of our foreign suppliers organise their own transport. But there are a few European suppliers from whom we collect the goods ourselves. So we choose the means of transport with the lowest ecological footprint. More than half of the international goods for which we organise transport make their journey by train or boat. This represents a CO2 reduce of 8,518 tonnes per year compared to road transport.

Even in Belgium, the percentage of journeys made via water is also growing. Every year, some 4,502 containers for Colruyt Group are transported by barge from the port of Antwerp to Brussels. This saves us a lot of truck rides, and it's also cheaper and more efficient.

Containers are brought to ship
Half of the international goods for which we organise transport arrive by train or boat.

With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Industry, innovation & infrastructure Sustainable cities and communities Climate action