Tag Archive: cargo bikes

  1. Prague’s cargo bike boom – a case study for urban last-mile deliveries

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    Source: Autonomy Network

    Prague remains a key location for cargo bike urban integration, having opened two city center depots. After operating for a sustained period, the success of the scheme can now be evaluated.

    Prague’s two cargo bike depots opened in 2020 and 2021 respectively, being recognized by the 2021 Eurocities Awards as a low-carbon alternative to last-mile van delivery. The principal is simple, a van drops off packages at the central depot, which are then delivered across the city via cargo bike. In Prague, hilly terrain leads to a preference for e-cargo bikes, allowing riders to tackle tougher terrain with ease. Thus far, each depot has delivered approximately 7,000 orders per month, with each location housing up to eight companies.

    Successful collaboration between public and private sectors

    Operating companies pay a small fee to cover depot running costs, and hence, the city administration does not have to contribute a stake in the project outside of the initial construction cost. For a relatively low price, the depot helps to achieve Prague’s long-term vision to promote cycling and change its citizens’ attitudes to this means of transport. The depot also contributes to the city’s pledge to lower its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2050.

    The project is a good example of cooperation between different actors. The pilot project was approved by the city council based on a study by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development. It took only three months to execute the proposal. Ekolo, the company setting up and running the depot, attributes this success to intense cooperation between the logistics firm and city-run companies.

    Domestic firm (Dámejídlo, Zásilkovna, Rohlík or WEDO) and international firms (DHL, Dascher, GLS) both profit from the innovation. Twelve enterprises use the two depots at present, but Adam Scheinherr, mayor’s deputy for transportation, is in talks with companies that could not be accommodated in the first depots. A representative of Ekolo started helping with similar cargo bike projects in London, Copenhagen, and Lille.

    Potential to inspire future action and lessons learned

    As the largest depots of their kind, Prague’s cargo bike scheme offers both a point of inspiration and a case study from which to learn. Of course, it is commonly accepted that electric cargo bikes are an optimal delivery vehicle; speedy, quiet, low polluting, cheaper, accessible, etc. however, new insight can now be utilized to further improve customer and driver experience.

    The key lessons learned for future projects were:

    • More depots are required: This will minimize driver distance and reduce delivery times.
    • Unsustainable trends must still be recognized: Overconsumption and the negative impact of deliveries and packaging are still prominent issues for the majority of parcel lifetimes. More localized production is required.
    • Worker experience must be improved: One recent example concerns an online grocery store, Rohlik.cz, one of the companies using the depot. The firm reduced the couriers’ wages (despite having almost doubled its profit last year), sparking public concern. Other difficulties of this job came to light, namely long working hours, lack of social security, and uncertain wages.
  2. Subsidies for Italian businesses purchasing cargo bikes

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    Source:  Carla GiaumeEltis

    Any Italian company or business activity that invested in the purchase of a cargo bike for its daily activities in 2021 will now be able to receive up to 30% of the total expense. According to a decree published in the Italian Official Gazette, the incentive will be “in the form of a tax credit” and is up to a maximum of €2,000.

    The Italian government has allocated €2million to the scheme, which applies to the purchase of cargo bikes and power-assisted bikes. An online registration is soon to be created with a deadline for submissions to obtain the credit set at 20th June 2022. 

    Cargo bikes are being championed by manufacturers around Europe and their numbers are set to expand. Companies are using cargo bikes for first- and last-kilometres deliveries, while families are encouraged to replace their second cars with cargo bikes and similar modes of transport. The subsidies do only apply to businesses and not personal use, however. 

    Elisa Gallo, the president of the FIAB Torino Bike Pride – the Italian Association of Cycling Friends (which recently organised a cargo bike day), and newly elected national councillor of the Italian Environment and Bicycle Federation, commented on the news to RivistaBC: “It is certainly useful to invest in cargo bikes. Italians are beginning to be interested in cargo bikes, however, much more needs to be done. Delivery companies are also more sensitive to their environmental impact. It is certainly desirable for the incentive to be renewed also for 2022.”

    The National Association for Cycle and Motorcycle Accessories (ANCMA) remarked that the incentive is still far away from contributing to reach the environmental objectives or the ecological transition and that more are needed to encourage cycling. However, considering the current energy crisis, this could potentially favour a radical change in the way people and goods move, particularly in urban areas.

    For more information check the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTE) Gazzetta Ufficiale

  3. The Evolution of Cargo Bikes Rolls On

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    Source: The Mayor EU

    A forthcoming Rotterdam-based e-bike campaign means that it will soon be possible to borrow a cargo bike free of charge.

    A forthcoming Rotterdam-based e-bike campaign means that it will soon be possible to borrow a cargo bike free of charge. In a city where almost anything is possible by bike, the trial period will pave the way for the transportation of bulky waste, further promoting fitness and sustainability.

    The trial period will offer electric cargo bikes free of charge, in which items such as large garden waste or second-hand items can be deposited in environmental parks and certified locations. Here, the items will embark on a new journey and become useful every day goods for others in the city.

    The Municipality of Rotterdam announced the new initiative only last week in an effort to encourage residents to embrace the opportunity to increase their recycling quota and cut down on incineration. The public will be able to reach environmental parks in this favored transportation alternative by reserving a cargo bike or trailer from multiple locations and using it for part of the day to transport voluminous waste.

    The trailer is an open cart of 2 x 1.1 x 0.34 meters, and the size of the electric cargo bike is 1 x 0.5 x 0.6 meters, ideal for household waste that does not fit into underground containers or garbage bags. Examples of this waste include furniture such as sofas and cupboards, and large electronic items such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners, all of which can take on a new leaf of life by being transported to a recycling plant. In addition, trailers can also be attached to a car for ease of use.

    The trial period will remain in place until the end of October when the authorities will evaluate the usability and the usefulness of the new service. A discussion about extending the service permanently from 2023 will address the success and the uptake of the environmental campaign. At this time, only residents of Rotterdam can adopt the service, with businesses unable to apply.

  4. Laka and Dockr rebel against outdated industries

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    The European cycle insurer that has disrupted the consumer and commercial insurance market

    LEVA-EU member Laka, the European cycle insurer that has disrupted the consumer and commercial insurance market, is now working with cargo bike subscription giant DOCKR to bring their fresh, entrepreneurial model to the e-mobility market. As part of their DOCKR subscription, thousands of DOCKR clients in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands now benefit from Laka’s award-winning insurance and fleet management system.

    Laka’s appeal to clients is its ability to quickly adapt its unique, tech-based insurance model to provide tailored, cost-effective insurance cover for clients’ specific requirements across Europe. Laka and DOCKR both bring a modern and flexible model to their retrospective industries. Notably, outdated insurance companies are known for locking clients in for long periods with expensive get-out clauses and charging for policy changes. This is where Laka and DOCKR are changing things to better serve the business market. With DOCKR, clients pay via an all-inclusive flexible subscription model, whilst Laka offers flexible insurance contracts that allow daily policy changes; which are more suited to the changing needs of growing delivery fleet companies.

    Both companies also maximize revenue opportunities for their clients. Laka has its own in-house customer services team, who provides award-winning fast service to get riders back on their bikes (41 minutes is the quickest settlement), and DOCKR’s secret lies within its subscription, which includes regular service at the customer’s location and backup vehicles when necessary, thereby maximizing uptime for its users.

    DOCKR is the most recent addition to Laka’s commercial client list, which features Decathlon, Randstad, EAV, Zapp, and Santis Global to name a few, proving that Laka is now uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective, and versatile commercial insurance model (covering e-cargo bikes, delivery riders, and cycles), across Europe and the UK.

    Tobias Taupitz, Laka CEO said “We listened to clients’ pain points with traditional insurance to develop a product that challenges the outdated insurance model. Laka provides tech-driven flexible policies to better suit their needs; whether they are a global company or a fast-growing (and fast-changing) start-up. DOCKR is one of those fast-growing companies. We are delighted to work with the DOCKR team, who are aligned with Laka’s disruptive approach of rebelling against outdated models to do things differently, to do them better.”

    Nadine van der Hoorn, Managing Director at DOCKR said ”At DOCKR we look for innovation and customer-focus in all partners we work with. These are key drivers for us and our partners to grow with the disruptive DOCKR Model. When starting conversations with LAKA we’ve found a partner who will work with us (instead of against us) to offer our customers the best possible cargo solution in inner cities. This requires courage from both of us to embrace the unknown.”

    Van der Hoorn goes on to explain that, every day the inner cities become more congested with traffic, and CO2 emissions continue to rise. That’s why DOCKR is on a mission to make the inner cities a better place. DOCKR delivers flexible all-in subscriptions for electric cargo vehicles because they believe mobility should be easy, accessible, and sustainable. DOCKR helps its customers with their logistical challenges so they can focus on their core business. Whether your company is big or small, there is an ideal DOCKR for everyone. No big investments upfront and no long-term commitments. With DOCKR’s service and preventive maintenance, they ensure that your vehicle is always on the road to guarantee you maximum uptime.

    DOCKR is growing rapidly and they want to conquer the European market with their all-inclusive subscription. To make this rapid growth possible, they are looking for new investors so that they can make the city center a better place, not only in the Netherlands, Belgium & Germany but in all of Europe!

    For further information about Laka visit the Laka website at www.laka.co
    For further information about DOCKR visit the DOCKR website at www.dockrmobility.com

  5. e-Cargo investment of £920,000 for hospital scheme in Bristol, UK

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, Simon Fox

    A 12-month trial sees vans servicing Bristol Royal Infirmary replaced by cargo bikes for urban journeys

    Run by West of England Combined Authority, the trial will take place for a full year, beginning June 2022. E-cargo bikes will be used as direct replacements for vans previously utilized by the Bristol Royal Infirmary, with GPS tracking measuring how this change impacts delivery performance.

    The £920,000 of funding from central government seeks to deliver substantial change to the way in which UK transport systems operate. As outlined by the Future Transport Zone, “The zones will provide real-world testing for experts, allowing them to work with a range of local bodies such as councils, hospitals, airports and universities to test innovative ways to transport people and goods.”

    A comparable study by Pedal and Post, an Oxford-based cargo bike provider, found medical delivery times to be halved when using cargo bikes in comparison to vans in urban areas. The results for Bristol will become clear in a year’s time.

  6. The German cargo bike boom: 2021 market report

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    Source: cargobike.jetzt

    The nationwide German Bike Monitor 2021 survey, which occurs every two years, has highlighted shifting attitudes towards cargo bikes within the population

    The definition for a cargo bike used in the survey is as follows: “The cargo bike is a bicycle that is used to transport loads or people. Depending on the intended use, the basket/box is in the rider’s field of vision or in the rear area of ​​the bike. Depending on the design, these bikes are equipped with two or three wheels.”

    From this, participants were quizzed on various aspects of the cargo bike market. The representative survey now estimates over eight million potential cargo bike buyers in Germany alone, with double that figure showing interest in cargo bike-sharing services.

    Awareness of cargo models has risen from 38% in 2017 to 63% in 2021, clearly indicating the growing market. Additionally, 2% of the population now use a cargo bike in their lives (1.2 million individuals).

    An interesting question, newly added this year, regarded second-hand bikes. The cargo bike garnered the most interest of all bike models in this case. 35% of those interested in a cargo bike would prefer to buy pre-owned; for comparison, this figure falls to 14% when averaged between all bike types.

    The final and particularly insightful section of the data explores the arguments against interest in cargo bikes; the reasoning for such disinterest was found to cover a range of issues. At 61 percent, having your own car will remain the most important argument against buying a cargo bike in 2021, this was followed by the bikes being ‘too bulky and unwieldy’ (36%), lack of parking/storage space (29%), skepticism about effectiveness (27%), and finally, the high price tag at 24%.

    Read the full German Bicycle Monitor 2021 here.

  7. Road safety police in Berlin now ride cargo bikes

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    Source: News.dayFR

    Berlin’s Chief of Police, Dr. Barbara Slowik, unveiled 70 service bicycles and 11 cargo bicycles for road safety advisors at the five local police departments.

    Rather than be transported in a radio truck, ‘Road Safety Tips’ documents are now transported on cargo bikes. The 70 service bikes include a lock, first aid kit, multitool, and waterproof luggage bag. Additionally, all riding officers were provided with new, custom uniforms.

  8. ICBF announces 2022 dates – in collaboration with World of eMobility

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    Source: Cargo Bike Festival

    The International Cargo Bike Festival (ICBF) will take place in Amsterdam, 27-29 October 2022.

    Attendees of ICBF 2022 will find the festival in a special cargo bike-focused area of the wider World of eMobility 2022 event – a hybrid B2B / B2C trade show that saw its debut in 2021. The cargo bike festival will be a unique and innovation-focused affair, including exhibition space, indoor test track, and cargo bike conference.

    Discover more via the official ICBF website, here.

    The event will take place at Expo Haarlemmermeer, a multifunctional venue surrounded by nature, in the heart of Randstad. The exclusive location has an industrial look and feel and is just a stone’s throw from Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam. The unexpected peace and tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the Randstad, and the striking architecture of the building, blend in perfectly well with the lush nature surrounding it.

  9. German cargo-bike market continues to bulk-up with 100,000 sales in 2020

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    Source: Forbes

    A ‘pandemic bike boom’ has catapulted the German and wider European cargo-bike market towards an estimated growth of 40-50% in 2021

    As European cities continue to grow in size and density, road space has become increasingly scarce. In tandem, online shopping has become the new norm, so it is unsurprising that in locations such as the UK, van traffic has seen a 71% increase over the last 20 years; for comparison, car traffic saw a 13% growth in the same period. More vans equate to more congestion, more pollution, and slower delivery times. In Germany, the cargo-bike is powering onto the scene with such ferocity that leading magazine Bike Europe stated that the bikes have quickly “[changed] the look of streets” in many cities.

    Six years ago, in 2016, annual German cargo-bike sales stood at 15,000, in 2020 sales reached 100,000; today, the pandemic induced ‘bike boom’ has led to manufacturers estimating they experienced growth of 40-50% in 2021. When discussing modern city planning Walther Ploos van Amstel, a professor of city logistics at Amsterdam University, argues that “trucks… need to become smarter, cleaner, quieter, smaller and safer.” to remain viable – electric cargo-bikes already fulfill all of these criteria.

    This spike in interest correlates to businesses begining to identify the range of benefits that electric cargo-bikes may bring to their operations in urban areas. In many cities, trips made by cargo-bikes are often more efficient during both travel and delivery procedure (parking, unloading, etc.). Consequently, policymakers are further accelerating the electric cargo-bike trend on a local and national scale, offering subsidies, trial schemes, and rebates. Cargo-bikes make up a crucial step in the marathon that is transforming European cities into climate-neutral locations.

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