One of the parcel delivery machines , Source: City of Leuven

Leuven is tackling door-to-door delivery emissions with automated parcel lockers

Leuven is tackling door-to-door delivery emissions with automated parcel lockers

The new infrastructure should mesh well with the city’s plan to decarbonise the postal services by next year

Yesterday, the Belgian city of Leuven announced they will install parcel delivery machines as part of the effort to make postal services carbon-neutral by next year. The parcel boxes will be placed around the city in so-called Ecozones and citizens will be able to use them to pick up or drop off parcels.

The idea behind the new light urban infrastructure is to cut traffic emissions and congestion caused by door-to-door deliveries. Thus, online vendors will be able to take advantage of the parcel boxes.

People will be able to choose whether they want the delivery made directly to their doorstep or in a nearby box. Furthermore, the innovation will not trump existing postal services or locations, instead, local authorities see it as pure added value.

At the same time, from next year, postal services will be equipped with freight bikes and electric vans that will transport goods between logistical centres and the boxes. The move will make Leuven one of the first cities in Belgium equipped with a carbon-neutral postal service, getting ahead on 2050 climate goals.

Online and offline makes for a win-win

City officials plan on installing a total of 27 parcel boxes around the city on existing ‘mobi points’. Mobi points are areas on the neighbourhood level where there is a lot of sustainable and shared mobility offers all clustered in the same place.

According to Leuven Alderman of Trade, Johan Geleyns, this is a win-win situation for businesses, the post and customers as it supports online sales, without detracting from the services of brick and mortar stores.  

For him, the main goal of the current administration is to find a way to empower smaller businesses to get into online retail and develop their digital capabilities. Thus, the parcel boxes are an extension of Leuven customer services according to him, as consumers can get a friendly attitude in a store and their goods in a parcel, delivered to their home.

Alderman for Mobility David Dessers was quoted in a press release, saying: “Residents have been asking for a while to combine the mobi points with a parcel machine. For us, this is a logical next step. All those door-to-door deliveries result in a lot of extra traffic and emissions. The extra collection points allow people to opt for delivery close to home. This will benefit the quality of life and traffic safety in our city centre.”



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU