5. September 2018 | Press release

In Stuttgart DPD Germany is testing electrically driven alternatives for parcel delivery operations

  • Appeal to the municipality of Stuttgart: parcel services need support in their search for inner-city logistics facilities

  • DPD is extending the use of fully electric delivery vehicles in Stuttgart, Ludwigsburg and surrounding areas

  • Transport bikes, VW e-Crafters and further electric models enable locally emissions-free delivery of parcels in the Stuttgart region


Aschaffenburg, 5 September 2018 – International parcel and express service provider DPD is expanding its use of electrically driven delivery vehicles in the city centre of Stuttgart as well as in Ludwigsburg and the surrounding areas. In addition to two pre-series models of the VW e-Crafter, which DPD is subjecting to a long-term test in cooperation with the manufacturer, DPD is now also launching deliveries in the region with eight transport bikes. The new delivery vehicles supplement the company's existing electric models such as the Vito E-Cell from Mercedes-Benz and the Master ZE from Renault, which are currently enabling locally emissions-free parcel deliveries in parts of the two above cities and their surrounding districts. However, in the inner city of Stuttgart there is currently still a shortage of centrally located parcel distribution facilities, so-called "micro-depots". In spite of the cooperation with Stuttgart's business promotion department, so far no locations have been found in the inner city which would be suitable for efficient operations with transport bikes on a regular basis.


"Stuttgart is a representative example of challenges such as pollution from particulates, driving prohibitions and access restrictions in the inner city"

Thomas Ohnhaus, Chief Operating Officer at DPD Germany

"Stuttgart is a representative example of challenges such as pollution from particulates, driving prohibitions and access restrictions in the inner city", explains Thomas Ohnhaus, Chief Operating Officer at DPD Germany. "The testing of alternative delivery concepts enables us to make sure that in future, too, we will be able to fulfil our role as a supplier of essential delivery services to residents and retailers in an optimal way. For this purpose close cooperation between municipalities and parcel services is an even more essential prerequisite than it was in the past. A prime example of this is the search for suitable locations where we can establish the kind of inner-city micro depots which enable locally emissions-free parcel deliveries in the first place."

 "Micro-depots" is the name given to small logistics facilities within inner-city delivery areas. Parcels for consignees in the relevant delivery area can be delivered by conventional vehicle to these support points in the morning from the nearest parcel distribution centre and then transferred to smaller, fully electric vehicles – in particular transport bikes – for the last mile. As a result, deliveries to consignees are entirely free from emissions. At the micro-depot the transport bikes can be loaded with parcels several times a day, and the batteries of the bikes are then charged at the micro-depot after the delivery rounds have been completed.

Because of a lack of suitable premises DPD has so far not been able to set up a permanent micro-depot in the inner-city area of Stuttgart. As a result, a number of transport bikes are still waiting at the relevant parcel distribution centre in Ludwigsburg to go into operation, which is to be implemented as soon as possible in the districts of Stuttgart-East, Bad-Cannstatt and Heslach. In addition to the four transport bikes in Stuttgart, four more bikes will soon go into operation in Ludwigsburg (Oßweil and Eglosheim districts) as well as in the neighbouring municipalities of Tamm and Asperg. One thing that all transport bikes have in common is that they are much more efficient within inner-city traffic than the usual small vans. In combination with conventional delivery vehicles and a micro-depot, a transport bike can almost fully replace a diesel van.

The transport bikes are especially suitable for non-business consignees, who only receive one or two small parcels per delivery. However, for deliveries of greater numbers of parcels to business consignees, larger vehicles will also be required in the long term. Here too, there are locally emissions-free alternatives to conventional delivery vehicles: in Stuttgart-East and Stuttgart-Feuerbach DPD is currently delivering parcels with one VW e-Crafter respectively. Throughout the industry the VW e-Crafter is one of the first fully electric models in the delivery vehicle class which is preferred by parcel services. With its range of 160 km, the vehicle meets all the requirements for operating delivery tours in inner-city areas with the same level of productivity as conventional vehicles. In Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin DPD is testing six pre-series models of the e-Crafter, and providing the manufacturer with feedback on the practical experience acquired in daily operations with the vehicle.

For some time now smaller, fully electric delivery vehicles have been in operation on behalf of DPD in the Stuttgart region in the form of a Master ZE from Renault (Stuttgart-East) and three Vito E-Cells from Mercedes-Benz (Sachsenheim, Asperg and Ludwigsburg-Oßweil). DPD's Vito E-Cells are part of the LivingLab BWe electro-mobility shop-window initiative, which has been launched by the federal government in four regions throughout Germany. DPD in Baden-Württemberg is one of more than a hundred partners involved in the project.


TRIPL, transport bikes and more: emissions-free parcel deliveries in the inner city

When it comes to ensuring locally emissions-free inner-city parcel deliveries, it is the DPD strategy to use a mixture of different concepts and vehicles. Accordingly, in the course of this year DPD has considerably expanded delivery operations by transport bike. These bikes are currently already in operation in Berlin, Hamburg, Heilbronn and Nuremberg, while further cities will gradually be added. In addition to the various electrically driven vans in Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin, DPD is also using a total of eight e-scooters, the so-called "TRIPL", in its inner-city delivery operations. These electric three-wheelers have a greater range than transport bikes, but can also drive right up to the front door. This saves both time and travelling distances, and relieves the pressure on inner-city traffic.


Carbon-neutral parcel shipping for all – at no additional cost to customers

Within the framework of its group-wide DrivingChange™ sustainability strategy, DPDgroup is committed to carbon-neutral transport of all parcels for every customer, and at no additional cost. To achieve this DPDgroup is applying a combination of three interrelated principles: measuring, reducing and offsetting. DPDgroup leads the world in its voluntary programme for offsetting emissions which harm the climate. In the year 2017 alone, the group offset 912,731 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. As a result, DPDgroup was responsible for nearly 5% of all voluntarily offset CO2 emissions in Europe. At the same time, the group is continuously reducing its CO2 emissions per parcel. The aim of reducing emissions per parcel by 10% on the figures for the base year of 2013 was achieved as early as 2016.

Press contact

Peter Rey

Manager Media & Digital Relations

Photos: Transport bikes and VW e-Crafters now enable locally emissions-free deliveries in Stuttgart, too (photos: DPD/Jürgen Pollak).