Tag Archive: cargobike

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Survey: What infrastructure do cargobikes need?

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    Darmstadt University is conducting an online survey on the use of cargobikes. The goal is to formulate recommendations for cargo bike infrastructure. Prof. Axel Wolfermann in an interview with cargobike.jetzt.

    Interview originally published in German in cargobike.jetzt: https://www.cargobike.jetzt/infrastruktur-umfrage-hochschule-darmstadt/

    High curbs, narrow bike lanes and various road blocking obstacles cause specific problems for cargobikes. Through the survey on usage, mobility and route choice behavior with the cargo bike we went to establish how exactly cargobike-friendly  infrastructure should look like. The online survey is aimed primarily – but not only – at private cargobike users. Please do take part!

    Luise Braun (TU Berlin) and Gregor Gaffga (TU Dresden) have already carried out scientific research into infrastructure requirements for cargobikes and tricycles. However, now with the survey, cargobike infrastructure is being researched for the first time on behalf of the federal state, in the project ” Design recommendation for cargo bike infrastructure” at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. Project leader Prof. Axel Wolfermann from the Institute of Civil Engineering of the University of Darmstadt explains the project:

    • How did your current research project “Design recommendation for the wheel infrastructure of cargo bikes” come about ?

    Axel Wolfermann: In Darmstadt, private cargo bikes are already omnipresent even in winter. The discussion about city logistics with cargo bikes has also reached Darmstadt politics. On the other hand, the existing bicycle infrastructure is insufficient and especially cargobikes are still a rather blank spot on the regulations working programme, which is used for planning cycling infrastructure. For this reason, we at the University of Darmstadt applied for research subsidies within the framework of the Hessian short-distance mobility strategy in 2018 and were granted the project “Design Recommendation for cargo bike infrastructure”.

    • Why is your survey mainly aimed at private users of cargo bikes?

    Axel Wolfermann: There are already various research projects on cargobikes in commercial transport. So far, less research has been done on private use, although that segment also has great potential. In addition, we wanted to focus on one segment, in order to obtain insights into the most important infrastructure barriers for the use of cargobike as soon as possible. The user survey is a central component of the project, but not the only one. We also sift through the existing regulations for buildings, parking lots and other fundamentel elements for traffic planning. We also compile the geometries of cargo bikes, evaluate video observations and invite people to expert workshops.

    • What effect do you expect from the results of the research project?

    Axel Wolfermann: Theprimary aim is to develop recommendations for the Hessian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Housing. Demonstration projects are not part of this project. However, it is clear that the project should not be an academic exercise for us, nor for the Ministry I assume. It would be great if the research project flows results into a pilot project with a community for the development of cargobike-friendly infrastructure! And the stronger the participation in our user survey, the better we can argue for the need for a model project for adequate cargobike infrastructure. This year is also a good time to add our findings to the discussion about the new edition of the Cycling Facilities Recommendations (ERA) .

    -> Join the survey here <-


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