Duiven – where? The place, located half way between Dusseldorf Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol is known by local insiders for its gastronomic highlights such as Sushi Mona, Lunchroom Bakhuus, or Brasserie Een Mooie Dag. But more important than culinary delights is the closeness of the town to the Dutch interstate A12 that connects the dwelling with Rotterdam and Amsterdam or the highly industrialized German Rhine-Ruhr range when driving eastbound. After an extensive refurbishing, the U.S. integrator’s new Road Hub has been rebuilt and offers increased handling capacity combined with an improved working environment for employees.
The geographical site of the town was a decisive factor for FedEx when it established a road hub in Duiven. The town is located at the crossroads of thriving economic corridors stretching from the northwest of the UK to northern Italy, and from Scandinavia (Copenhagen/Malmoe) and Hamburg in northern Germany towards the Benelux States and Paris. Duiven is the only hub connected to all other European road hubs run by FedEx – putting it in a key position of FedEx's business in Europe. Following its refurbishment and expansion, it is one of the largest and most technologically advanced hubs in FedEx's pan-European road network. After being handled and processed, exports destined to intercontinental destinations are trucked to Liege Airport where they are loaded on board FedEx’s freighter fleet. In contrast, most imports arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol from where they are brought to Duiven by road. Asked about the import/export ratio, the local FedEx station sys that 70% of the throughput consist of transits while 30% are exports originating in the Netherlands.
Capacity has trippled
The handling and sorting facilities comprise 24,000 square meters and are embedded in premises totaling 148,000 square meters. Technically, they are equipped with state-of-the-art sorting machines that can process around 200,000 parcels a day. Thanks to the modernization and enlargement measures total capacity has more than tripled compared to the previous set-up. In addition, the site has more loading bays and an improved operational flow on the premises. This includes, for example, new gates so that trucks can enter more quickly. In addition, the safety measures have become stiffer and light packages and larger freight pieces are processed separately. By splitting up their flows, operational efficiency is increased and the number of forklift movements could be reduced.
One interface, one service provider
In a release, the integrator emphasizes that the ability to move both packages and freight on a single network makes FedEx’s delivery services unique in Europe. Customers can ship both types of goods via a single interface and through a single service provider. However, the number of voluminous or large shipments is relatively low as these pieces are predominantly handled at FedEx’s freight hub in Venlo, The Netherlands, which is operational since 2019.
“The European Road Network is at the heart of our European business, providing cost-effective and reliable service on the road - and Duiven is at the heart of that offering," said Martin Gussinklo, Senior Vice President Europe Road Network at FedEx Express. "We are pleased to reopen our expanded facility to our customers in FedEx's 50th anniversary year, celebrating our proud heritage and an exciting future."
Growing net of road hubs
The site expansion in the Netherlands is one of two major infrastructure projects in FedEx's road network in 2023. In June, the U.S. integrator plans to inaugurate a new, state-of-the-art road hub in Novara, Italy. Together with Duiven, Novara will provide FedEx customers with access to one of the largest and fastest road networks in Europe for smaller packages and larger or heavier freight shipments.
Duiven is one of 28 road hubs in FedEx's European road network. More than 5,400 trucks and trailers are used on 50,000 weekly scheduled services. This connects 700 locations as well as FedEx's air hubs in 45 countries.
Asked about the kind of trucks FedEx utilizes for transporting its shipments, the company says: “We’re using predominantly diesel trucks but we have started using renewable diesel in some of our linehaul trucks operating from Duiven. The first results of this pilot have been positive and we intend to scale this technology over time. And does FedEx influence its subcontractors to use alternative technologies such as e-trucks or hydrogen powered vehicles when transporting FedEx goods, the answer reads: “Sustainability is an ongoing topic of conversation with our linehaul subcontractors. To get more insights into their CO2 footprint, we encourage them to register their data.”
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