DPD to expand electric cargo bike trials in Germany

Source Daniel Symons in Postal and Parcel Technology International

Parcel and express delivery provider DPD Germany is looking to expand the use of its electrically assisted transport bikes following a successful trial in the city of Nuremberg, Germany.

Deployed in December 2016, the three bikes primarily deliver to private consignees in the districts of Glockenhof, Steinbühel, Galgenhof and Hummelstein. In these densely populated residential areas the bikes have proven to be more efficient than conventional delivery vans. For the same number of stops the bicycle couriers travel shorter distances, have less ground to cover than that covered on foot, and don’t lose any time looking for somewhere to park.

The transport bikes are assisted by a centrally located micro-depot, at which parcels destined for the inner city are stored and distributed. To date, the bikes have delivered more than 5,000 parcels. DPD will now deploy three identical bikes in the city of Hamburg with the eventual aim of incorporating the bikes on a permanent basis.

Gerd Seber, group manager sustainability and innovation, DPD Germany, said, “Our initial experiences in Nuremberg have demonstrated clearly that transport bikes are a promising and practical alternative to conventional delivery vehicles. Transport bikes not only enable emissions-free parcel deliveries locally, but are also more practical and efficient in inner-city traffic.

“Inner-city space is in great demand and is becoming increasingly scarce. For the purpose of establishing alternative delivery concepts in the long term we therefore appeal to the municipalities to cooperate even more closely with parcel services.”

Each transport bike has a capacity of 1.45m³ (51ft³), which is sufficient for up to 80 parcels. They also contain a battery-powered drive unit, which can be used to assist the parcel courier on difficult climbs. The large, lockable rear door and smaller side door also provide the driver with easy access to the parcels.

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