The climate targets agreed on during the COP21 in Paris play an important role within the Top Sector Logistics. Logistics is a service that involves transporting goods to where they are needed. This creates emissions. The Top Sector has decided to analyze the potential for reducing emissions from the perspective of demand for transport. It has emerged that very little is known about the deployment and users of the 876,000-plus delivery vans in the Netherlands, even though these make a significant contribution to emissions, air pollution and congestion.

At the Top Sector Conference held on March 16, 2017 in Aalsmeer the initial results of the study “Users and Deployment of Delivery Vans in the Netherlands” were announced. This study, initiated by Connekt on behalf of the Top Sector Logistics and conducted by a consortium comprising research agencies Buck, CE Delft, Districon, Panteia and TNO,  provides a detailed insight into the users and deployment of the 876,000 delivery vans on Dutch roads.

Striking insights

  • The annual distance driven is similar to that of cars, with 80% of vans at or below a level of 30,000 km per year and 95% below 40,000 km per year.
  • The most frequently used vans (3% of the total number) are new vans and are responsible for 10% of the kilometers covered by all delivery vans in the Netherlands.
  • 35-50% of all delivery vans are used for goods logistics. Goods logistics is defined as the commercial transport of goods (including construction materials) and/or parts, whether or not in combination with services.  Over half of all delivery vans are deployed in the construction and commerce sectors: a large proportion of these do not fall within the area of goods logistics as defined above, but are used for servicing work that involves carrying tools, for example.
  • Roughly 2-3% of delivery vans are involved in home deliveries. The doubling of e-commerce activities will not therefore increase the number of delivery vans significantly.
  • Delivery vans remain in service for longer than trucks (up to approx. 20 years). Vans that are between 15 and 20 years old still clock up more than 10,000 km per year:
    • a 15-year-old van still covers around 13,000 km;
    • a 20-year-old van still covers around 11,000 km.
  • Delivery vans tend to be on the road at times when traffic congestion is starting to build up, and that applies in particular to those used in the construction sector.
  • Old delivery vans clock up a relatively large proportion of their kilometers (40% or more) outside normal working hours and in particular at weekends.
  • Older delivery vans make a relatively large contribution to air pollution: the 8% of total kilometers covered by these delivery vans (Euro 0-2) account for 9% of NOx and 39% of particulate emissions from delivery vans.
  • Delivery vans are responsible for 34% of particulate emissions from all road traffic in built-up areas, although they account for just 12% of the kilometers covered by all road traffic in these areas.
  • Delivery vans account for around 14% of CO2 emissions from all Dutch vehicles (transport of people and freight) and roughly 35% of CO2 emissions from logistic transport (including inland shipping)

The study will be published in full on the Top Sector Logistics website at the end of March.