May 17, 2020

Decathlon debuts sustainable logistics hub

decathlon logistics hub
decathlon brandizzo
techbau italy
Logistics hub
Jennifer Johnson
2 min
Decathlon's new warehouse is currently undergoing LEED certification.
French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has opened a new, eco-friendly logistics hub in Brandizzo in northwest Italy.

The warehouse is currently unde...

French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has opened a new, eco-friendly logistics hub in Brandizzo in northwest Italy.  

The warehouse is currently undergoing LEED certification and features LED lighting in addition to rooftop solar panels capable of producing up to 350kW of electricity — allowing the building to be powered self-sufficiently during the bright summer months.

Decathlon is also debuting a new layout at the Brandizzo facility, featuring two automated mezzanine floors, which will be used in all of the company’s future warehouses worldwide.

The building has a surface area of around 23,000 square metres and is split into two units: one dedicated to picking, while the other stocks bulky material.

The heating and cooling system at the new logistics hub is based on 15 WSM high efficiency reversible air cooled roof-top units by Climaveneta, a group company of Mitsubishi Electric.

Alessandro Bergui , M&E Designer with Techbau SpA, who constructed the building, says: "Nowadays buildings are the first cause of pollution and CO2 production in the world. We drive Euro 6 and Euro 7 cars, while we live in buildings not so focused on energy savings.

“For our and our children's future it is essential to start thinking about buildings as we already do for automobiles, that is to say certifying energy performances. Following this philosophy, at the new Decathlon logistics hub we've tried to take the maximum advantage of renewable energies, since they don't come from fossil fuels and don't cause any CO2 emissions, by installing photovoltaic panels and selecting high efficiency HVAC units with air source."

Decathlon intends to design all of its new buildings to be eco-friendly. 

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Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics. 

The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener". 

FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, beyond the boundaries mass movement of goods from A-B. The logistics company says the exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its experimentation in new autonomy solutions, both in-warehouse and on-road. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, vice president, advanced technology and innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”


The changing role of couriers 

Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time. 

But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse. 

“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”

Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds. 

Last mile's role in ESG

Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings. 

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