To support the growth of e-commerce, La Poste is opening its fifth and largest "new generation" parcel sorting hub in Montereau-sur-le-Jard (Seine-et-Marne), following the Colissimo Alpes (La Buissière, 38), Hauts-de-France (Douvrin, 62), Côte d'Azur (Les-Arcs-sur-Argens, 83) and IDF Nord (Le Thillay, 95) hubs.

This new hub is the result of the investment plan initiated in 2016, aimed at adapting industrial facilities.  Managed by Poste Immo for the real estate component, and after two years of work, this new Colissimo hub went into production at the end of April 2021. It is now the largest postal parcel processing hub in France in terms of surface area but above all in terms of processing capacity: on average three times greater than the previous generation of hubs.

Since 2015, the growth of e-commerce has accelerated significantly in France.  In 2020, the health emergency changed consumer habits and online sales are booming.  As a result of the lockdown and closure of non-essential businesses, 17,4001 new e-tailers were created last year.  E-commerce now accounts for 13.4% of retail trade compared to 9.8% in 20192. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years.

E-commerce has become one of the main growth drivers for La Poste, which has invested €450 million over the past four years to adapt its industrial and logistics facilities. As a result, four ultra-modern Colissimo sorting hubs have been opened in France since 2019, some of which can process more than 30,000 Colissimo items per hour.  With an industrial investment of €41.2 million, the Ile-de-France Sud facility, located in Montereau-sur-le-Jard, is the fifth new-generation Colissimo hub to open since 2019.

Four ultra-modern Colissimo sorting hubs have been opened in France since 2019
Thanks to these investments, La Poste will be able to support the growth of e-commerce, with a 50% increase in parcel volumes in the first quarter of 2021.  Every day, 2 million parcels are sent to the four corners of France.

State-of-the-art technology and improved working conditions

This new hub, with a surface area of approximately 23,000 m2, is Colissimo's largest sorting hub in terms of surface area and processing capacity. Equipped with a latest generation double sorter, it is capable of processing more than 37,000 parcels per hour.  All the equipment (conveyors, information systems, etc.) facilitates handling activities.

The new hub, with a surface area of approximately 23,000 m2, is Colissimo's largest sorting hub in terms of surface area and processing capacity
This new hub is the first of Colissimo's ultra-modern hubs to be equipped with "by-pass" technology, which increases sorting capacity.  This is a conveyor system that allows the parcel to take a "shortcut" on the sorter.  Depending on its departure dock, the parcel takes the shortest route, which allows it to remain on the sorter for less time and thus quickly free up the tray for the next parcel for greater efficiency.

The transport of parcels is optimised thanks to new equipment and processes corresponding to the latest global logistics standards. Working conditions have been redesigned to limit effort and prevent accidents, particularly when handling parcels, thanks to a range of equipment developed for La Poste.For example, unloading parcels is made easier thanks to the "Express Snoot": this handling aid, adapted for La Poste in France, is an articulated arm positioned at the end of the loader that allows parcels to be slid rather than carried.It moves laterally and vertically to be as close as possible to the operators and thus limit the movements and journeys when unloading parcels.

This new hub will take over part of the activity of the Colissimo hub in Moissy, located in the same department.  The latter will be transformed into a mixed platform including a parcel delivery activity.  The switchover will take place gradually from April to June 2021.

A controlled carbon footprint

The Colissimo Ile de France Sud facility plays an essential role in optimising the management of flows since it acts as a hub, i.e. it groups the flows of several parcel sorting platforms with its own flow to the same hub.  This organisation reduces the number of kilometres travelled and optimises the transport of parcels.

The bulk loading of trucks combined with the use of swap bodies allows an average of 30% more parcels to be carried than with a semi-trailer.  The widespread use of these new modes of transport will enable La Poste to avoid the emission of around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 per year and thus further reduce its carbon footprint.

At the same time, the hub is preparing to obtain ISO 14001 international standard certification.

In addition to multiplying its actions to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Le Groupe La Poste is the first major postal operator to ensure the complete carbon neutrality of its offers since 2012, without any additional cost for its customers.

(1): Source Fevad: E-commerce balance sheet in 2020

(2): Source Fevad: E-commerce balance sheet in 2020

Source: Le Groupe La Poste