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Deutsche Post DHL

Deutsche Post DHL builds innovation park on Avantis

Deutsche Post test site for developing innovative mail delivery methods

The German postal service, Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) is building an innovation park for testing innovative concepts in mail delivery. It will be built on a 20,000 sqm site in the AVANTIS cross-border business park Aachen/Heerlen. “Our company intends to improve its carbon efficiency by 30% by 2020, compared with the reference year 2007. We are focusing on the use of electric vehicles as part of our pilot project ‘carbon-free deliveries in Bonn’. Because of the good experience gained, we would like to strengthen our activities in the area of innovative delivery methods”, says Jürgen Gerdes, Member of the Group Board for the Post – eCommerce – Parcel division. “The testing of electric vehicles specially designed for delivering letters and parcels is now to be intensified at the new location and expanded in order to achieve this goal.”

The planned facility will house a test centre for testing these electric vehicles and other innovative mail delivery concepts. The earthworks are scheduled to begin at the end of June and the plan is for the innovation park to be completed by the end of 2014. The research work will proceed in parallel.

The new science-oriented development on AVANTIS proves once again how important universities are to the Aachen-Heerlen region as a cross-border business location. The arrival of DPDHL shows that the AVANTIS business park provides the best conditions for exploiting all the benefits of the border region. “Our new location in Aachen puts us in the best position to proceed with the testing of new types and methods of mobility at the highest level – thanks in particular to the proximity to a range of excellent universities. The electric vehicles jointly developed with RWTH Aachen are already being subjected to field tests on a daily basis in a number of delivery offices and are now to be included in the further development of combined letter and parcel deliveries with the aim of improving efficiency”, Gerdes states emphatically.

“With this new innovative centre, AVANTIS is not only gaining high-profile residents, it is once again demonstrating versatility in terms of the relocation conditions it offers for a wide variety of industries – not least thanks to the excellent research and development work carried out in the border region. This is what has made it possible to market a quarter of the total business park since May 2013 – AVANTIS lives”, stresses Aachen’s Lord Mayor, Marcel Philipp.

According to Prof. Manfred Sicking, board member of AVANTIS GOB NV and councillor with responsibility for business promotion for the City of Aachen: “The future is taking shape on AVANTIS – revolutionising mobility in postal logistics can also serve as an example for other industries.” And Martin de Beer, new councillor with responsibility for the economy in Heerlen and also a board member of AVANTIS GOB NV, continues: “The City of Heerlen is also delighted with this major innovation project, which combines the automotive, logistics and renewable energy industries in the immediate vicinity of RWTH.”