Have you ever thought about all the steps your packages ordered over the Internet go through? Whether it's a consumer ordering a shirt or a professional having goods delivered, the last few kilometers of delivery generally end up the same way: in a truck. But this step is often the most expensive both financially and ecologically. So how can cyclo-logistics improve the delivery industry?
How is cyclo-logistics the future of urban delivery?
As its name indicates, cyclo-logistics is a method of logistics delivery using bicycles that may or may not have electric assistance. More precisely, it is defined as "the professional use of bicycles and their derivatives (cargo bikes, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, quadricycles, bicycle trailers) to deliver goods in urban areas".
Bicycle logistics around the world
Logistics by bicycle was not born yesterday. In fact, three-wheelers were already being used to transport goods in the 1940s. And, although it was forgotten for a few decades, cycle logistics has made a comeback in several countries.
Japan, in particular, is far ahead in this field, as are certain Nordic countries, the Netherlands and Germany. Great Britain and Italy are at the same point as Belgium and are actively developing their cyclo-logistics to catch up with the more advanced countries. Like them, many other countries have embarked on the great adventure of cyclo-logistics.
Bike delivery, why it's good
Perhaps you've heard the phrase "last mile delivery"? This term refers to all the agents, operations and activities involved in the last segment of the distribution chain. It transfers goods from the local storage point to the final delivery point.
This stage is therefore an essential link in the delivery of goods, but last-mile delivery has many problems.
It represents 20% of the total cost of the chain, which makes it the most expensive part.
It represents 14% of the traffic in Brussels and, being composed mainly of trucks, it occupies 30% of the roadway.
From an ecological point of view, it is responsible for 33% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the Belgian capital.
When unloading goods in double file, it is an obstacle for other road users.
Cyclo-logistics, the future of urban delivery
Cyclo-logistics offers a sustainable, fast and professional alternative to decongest Brussels from the 16.000 trucks and 26.000 vans on the road.
In addition to being an ecological means of transport, delivery by bicycle has several other interesting advantages:
It’s less expensive.
It’s easier to deliver in urban areas.
It saves delivery time.
It offers a more sustainable image of the company to customers.
It can be done with electric assistance.
However, in order to make cargo bike delivery more efficient, sustainable logistics requires the presence of a storage space near the city center. These spaces do not have to be warehouses, but can be in the basement of a building or in other abandoned spaces. This reduces the distance between the point of departure and the point of delivery and therefore reduces the time required by the couriers.
Types of vehicles used in cyclo-logistics
As explained above, cyclo-logistics does not only concern the simple bicycle. Here is an overview of some of these logistic innovations:
- The cargo bike
This is a two or three-wheeled bicycle with either a flat platform or a box. There are models that offer it either in the front or in the back, depending on preference. The cargo bike is most often used to transport small loads weighing between 50 and 80 kg.
- The trailer bike
This bike with an added trailer has the advantages of both a van and a bike. It combines the best of both means of transportation to easily deliver large quantities in city centers. A trailer with a capacity of 1m3. The possibility of using the bicycle lanes reserved for bicycles.
- The bicycle cab
This means of cyclo-logistics is a vehicle that has the advantage of being able to transport either goods or people. This versatile bicycle is therefore very useful in certain cases.
Brussels Mobility is also involved in cyclo-logistics
Within the framework of the European program "Innovative Urban Actions", the Brussels-Capital Region has proposed the CAIRGO BIKE project. This program is set up by the European Urban Development Fund and offers financial support to cities to enable them to develop innovative solutions to urban challenges.
The CAIRGO BIKE project proposed by Brussels Mobility aims to improve air quality in the city by encouraging the professional or private use of cargo bikes for the transport of goods and people. The project is one of 11 out of 222 projects selected to receive €4.7 million in European funding to support its implementation.
And the potential of this environmentally responsible logistics alternative is immense: in the capital, nearly 50% of goods deliveries and 75% of private trips could be made using cargo bikes.
Who are the actors of the Brussels cyclo-logistics?
With the constant development of cargo bike delivery in European countries, the list of manufacturers is growing. Although most of them are located in Denmark or the Netherlands, the rest of Europe is not left behind. For Urbeez, a Brussels-based cyclo-logistics start-up, the provenance of their vehicles is important. That's why their manufacturers are only located in Belgium and France.
- K-Ryole is a French start-up that currently offers the only cyclo-logistics solution for transporting more than 1m3/100kg of load in the form of a very maneuverable bicycle trailer.
- The company Treebike is based in Brussels where it develops a wide range of electrically assisted tricycles for use in professional transport.
You want to be part of the change and integrate cyclo-logistics in your company but you don't know where to start? Don't hesitate to contact Urbeez, which offers innovative and efficient solutions for integrating sustainable logistics in the city. Ask for your free quote now.