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Online commerce: packages, where do we put them?

Simply clicking on "validate my basket" has urban consequences that we do not suspect. This microgeste participates in the emergence of XXL warehouses (142 000 m2 for Amazon in Brétigny-sur-Orge, in Essonne, to name but one), to the noria of trucks coming out and, helped by the Waze navigation app, crisscross quiet suburban streets to avoid traffic jams before parking in double file to deliver the package in a relay package. By coming to pick him up, the buyer discovers improbable driving schools, pressings or souvenir shops which touch 30 cents per stored box but allow him to visit the unknown corners of his city.

Custom-made and "bursting"

Suppose, as a school hypothesis, that online commerce becomes a majority, led by pure players who do not operate a store (which, given Amazon's dominant position, may not be a fiction). What would we see in the cities? Warehouses, vans and code lockers. Too gay. This dark prospect has forced shopkeepers to question their craft but also, less known evolution, on that of deliveryman. Logistics, a rather rustic business diesel fuel trucker, becomes a practice of tailor-made, ecological over-the-market.

This is called urban logistics. The key word of the exercise is the burst. It is necessary "Burst" the contents of the big truck in dozens of small vehicles that will ensure the "Last kilometer", with an electric motor preferably. But this maneuver needs a place to be fulfilled. This is where urban change comes in. In Paris, the inhabitants have less and less cars but the city still has a lot of parking. The Sogaris, a public company that manages the Rungis market, has been using empty garages for several years under the Beaugrenelle Front de Seine towers to make it one of these platforms. The customer is Chronopost.

Recycled places

The Réinventer Paris 2 competition, which focused on the basements of the capital and whose results were published in mid-January, will allow this logistician to take a step further. Again, it is the glaucous duds of the city that offer the opportunity for a new use. Porte de Champerret, a former underground petrol station will become an urban logistics platform of a special kind. Sogaris has teamed up with a small electrical utility builder, XYT, so that carriers who want to store their packages at this entrance to the capital will have to use electric vehicles to deliver them to the end customer. One will not go without the other.

Another operation of recycling of a place in suffering, in the center of Paris this time. Rue du Grenier Saint-Lazare, in a rather naughty real estate operation called Quartier H orloge, will settle a "Proximity logistics". Storage for individuals or for professionals with delivery by electric trailer on demand. "A bookseller can be delivered once a week and ask for the books he needs for his clients on a case-by-case basissays Jonathan Sebbane, managing director of Sogaris. Same for craftsmen's equipment and parts. "

Remains an unknown, and size: the carriers will they convert to this virtuous logistics? Sogaris, we know that the habit is to load semi-trailers to deliver restaurants, even finishing the journey with a crate of salads in the back. In 2024, no more diesel will be allowed to drive in Paris. If the rise of online commerce can help accelerate this change, that will always be it.

Sibylle Vincendon



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