Network efficiency

One aspect of accelerating our transition to a lower-carbon business is by focusing on making our network more efficient and cutting the number of kilometres we drive. We can achieve this in a number of ways, such as by increasing the number of parcels delivered at the first attempt. Another way is by reducing air in parcels. The smaller the parcel, the more we can fit in our vehicles, which improves transport efficiency and sustainability.

Continuous development, testing and implementation of options for customers result in incremental but important steps in optimising network efficiency. Examples include:

  • Optimised collection planning for e-commerce customers;

  • Ship-from-store concept for fashion customers;

  • Expansion of delivery options, such as parcel lockers and delivery preferences for consumers;

  • Network collaboration, making smart use of the strength of different networks to service our customers efficiently.

Less air, better efficiency

Until recently, around half of each parcel we transported consisted of air, according to, a Dutch digital commerce network. That meant we were transporting and delivering almost 3 billion litres of air annually. In 2021 we continued to focus on reducing the amount of air we have to transport, and by year end an average parcel we delivered contained 30% air, a 25% reduction versus 2020. One of the ways we achieved this was by setting up two webshops dedicated to packaging, one for PostNL customers and one for other e-tailers. By selling boxes designed to fit the size of goods customers want to send, we reduce the amount of air in parcels, which means our delivery is more efficient.