Urban benefits of efficient stock distribution

A new urban distribution centre on the outskirts of Charleroi’s city centre will help cut congestion, improve operational efficiencies and contribute towards a greener, more sustainable future.

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Kevin Sticker transports goods on a bike trailer from the Urban Distribution Centre in Charleroi, Belgium. “The urban distribution center of the city of Charleroi” project helped limit congestion and pollution while ensuring an effective supply of goods to storekeepers. RegioStars 2016 © Associated Press Kevin Sticker transports goods on a bike trailer from the Urban Distribution Centre in Charleroi, Belgium. “The urban distribution center of the city of Charleroi” project helped limit congestion and pollution while ensuring an effective supply of goods to storekeepers. RegioStars 2016 © Associated Press

" This project will decrease congestion on public road networks while at the same time ensuring that storekeepers can rely on adequate and secure supplies. This innovative solution will therefore not only improve mobility within the city, but also have a positive impact on the environment and air quality. "

Frédéric Fraiture, City of Charleroi

The city centre of Charleroi is currently the site of an impressive phase of renovation and expansion. A key element of this has been this EU-funded project, which has sought to bring life into the centre and decrease congestion by providing a sustainable solution for city centre deliveries.

The project, which received EUR 2 383 337 through the European Regional Development Fund, has established a 2000 m² urban distribution centre (UDC) just west of the city’s centre, where stock can be dropped off and then carried to stores by  low-emission vehicles. The flexible architectural design of the building means that it can evolve over time to suit changing needs and requirements. Located on the site of a former railway station, the building is ideally situated between the metro and railway lines and close to the Charleroi ring road.

In parallel to the development of the UDC, urban mobility plans  are being  adapted – revised delivery hours,  a better understanding between road users and public spaces – to encourage businesses to make the switch. 

City-wide benefits

Indeed, convincing storekeepers about the benefits of this innovative tool has been an important element of this project. A multimodal platform puts the local business operator in control, allowing them to acquire and release storage space for commercial purposes as and when needed.

The UDC operator offers additional services such as the return of waste glass and plastic and the sending of postal packages. This effective distribution – both towards and from the city – is not only intended for companies and carriers, but also for local authorities and inhabitants.

A brighter, greener future

The project is part of a city-wide push to improve urban mobility, which includes encouraging the use of sustainable forms of transport (subway, bus and bike). Providing the infrastructure to enable vital business deliveries to ‘go green’ is very much part of this vision of a greener future. Furthermore, it is predicted that the centre will lead to the creation of some 20 new jobs and contribute to a decrease of 38.2 % in CO2 emissions by 2020.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “The urban distribution center of the city of Charleroi” is              EUR 5 958 342, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 2 383 337 through the 'Wallonia (Hainaut)" Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date

26/09/2016