Great. Let’s do that. But how to do it best? Lots of small companies are already operating in cities with last-mile service for packages, which is great. DHL is rocking Dutch cities with cargo bike deliveries and UPS and FedEx are getting their game face on, too. But we need to think bigger and better.
The City of Copenhagen created the framework for the idea of setting up a consolodation centre south of the city where logistics companies could drop off their goods in their larger trucks. Last mile service could be provided by smaller vehicles so that the trucks stay the hell out of our city. The industry has been slow to pick up the baton, however.
Copenhagen’s City Logistik website hasn’t been updated for a while because industry is lagging behind. This film explains their basic concept:
Sådan virker Citylogistik from Citylogistik on Vimeo.
There are a lot of packages to be delivered to the citizens in cities. In the Netherlands, for example, over half of all shoes are bought online. That is a lot of shoeboxes needing to get out to the people. In Europe we speak of the Zalando effect – similar to Amazon in North America.
Last mile service by smaller vehicles is great for cities but what about the solutions that are right there under our nose? What about the most ancient of transport corridors in our cities – the rivers and harbours.
We at Copenhagenize Design Company propose having barges – electric if you like – plying the waters of Copenhagen harbour. Dropping off small goods at specially designed piers at strategic locations on the harbourfront. Secure facilities that keep the goods stored in lockers. Depots designed especially for cargo bikes to arrive and pick up goods – or drop them off – in order to deliver them to the people and businesses in the various areas and neigbourhoods.
Our urban designer Adina Visan took our idea to the visual stage. Envisioning iconic off-shore depots for urban logistics along Copenhagen Harbour – or any city with a harbour or river.
This should be the new normal for goods delivery in Copenhagen.
Depots arranged to serve the densely populated neighbourhoods on either side of the harbour.
Designed for a fleet of cargo bikes that can roll in, pick up goods in lockers, and roll out again onto the cycle tracks of the city.
What are we waiting for?
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Fox has expanded its Baxter, Minnesota, service facility to handle mountain bike products along with powersports, which the company said will improve service lead times across the U.S. The Baxter facility complements Fox’s West Coast facility in Watsonville, California, with Fox factory-trained technicians providing a full range of services including maintenance, upgrades, custom tuning and warranty support. The Baxter facility has been handling powersports products for several years, but Fox ramped up the bicycle service last fall. The facility has been running a bike service program there since winter 2013
These two cargo bikes were parked outside a shop in Mile End, on Bernard Street.
And this gentleman was riding around with his son on his Nihola cargo bike.
Which he was also doing last summer, when I was in town.
Here are some other cargo bike photos from Montreal. Quelle ville!
NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)â€”New York City bicycle retailer Spokesman Cycles is expanding to a fourth store that managers hopes to open by yearâ€™s end. The 1,400-square-foot East Side location is three blocks from Central Park and situated on a highly trafficked bike path that crosses the bridge from Queens to Manhattan, said owner Carlos Ballorso, who has been in the bike business for 30 years
NEW YORK, NY (BRAIN)â€”New York City bicycle retailer Spokesman Cycles is expanding to a fourth store that managers hopes to open by yearâ€™s end. The 1,400-square-foot East Side location is three blocks from Central Park and situated on a highly trafficked bike path that crosses the bridge from Queens to Manhattan, said owner Carlos Ballorso, who has been in the bike business for 30 years. He opened his first store eight years ago
Copenhagen, of course, is a benchmark city regarding use of cargo bikes. With around 40,000 cargo bikes in use in Greater Copenhagen each day, it’s safe to say that cargo transport is mainstream in the Danish capital. A quarter of all families with two or more children have one and a growing number of services are provided via cargo bike.
All well and good. But let me introduce to you Rio de Janeiro, because there are a few tricks that city can teach the rest of us.
A few months ago I wrote about the cargo bike culture in Sao Paulo, which was fantastic to experience. I knew that Rio de Janeiro was going to be something special when I was picked up by friends at the airport on a cargo bike carrying a folding bike for me to ride.
One of the friends was Ze Lobo, who works at Transporte Ativo, and over my time in the city he filled me in about the state of the nation regarding cycling and, not least, cargo bikes. The latter is something worth broadcasting.
The active transportation NGO Transporte Ativo did a cargo bike count last year, focusing on the Copacabana neighbourhood in the city. It’s worth mentioning that a lot of the perceptions of Rio and Brazil don’t really apply anymore. The country and the cities are experiencing an economic upturn. Indeed, it’s the only country I’ve been to over the past ten years or so where the almighty Danish kroner was rather unimpressive. Prices were largely the same across the board.
The point is we’re not dealing with an underdeveloped city here – certainly not the Copacabana neighbourhood. So. Let’s hear about the amazing cargo bike culture they have going on.
The Transporte Ativo report counted bicycle and cargo bike deliveries in fantastic detail.
Here’s the rub: There are 11,541 deliveries made by bicycle or cargo trike every day in the neighbourhood. Eleven thousand five hundred and forty one. Making 23.082 journeys – back and forth.
As Transporte Ativo puts it: “One of the most important and expensive urban freight stages is the last-mile, when the goods are delivered from shops to consumers. Cargo vehicles powered by human propulsion have been used worldwide to reduce cost and air pollution related to the last-mile. Cargo bicycles are the best option for transporting goods over short distances and can easily be integrated into cityâ€™s busy streets. Its use lightens the burden of motorized transportation, such as congestion, parking issues, air pollution and its impacts on climate change.”
Here’s the area of interest.
Here is a graph about the kinds of establishments that were included in the count.
The numbers of bikes and cargo bikes that the establishments have.
The number of deliveries that the establishments make each day.
Here is an overview of the kinds of pedal power used by the establishments.
38 Bakeries: 1307 deliveries/day; 71 cyclists; 68 bicycles.
36 Construction & electrical supplies: 768 deliveries/day; 60 cyclists; 56 bicycles.
32 Laundries: 557 deliveries/day; 41 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
29 Supermarkets: 1398 deliveries/day; 86 cyclists; 79 bicycles.
22 Beverage Distributors: 1812 deliveries/day; 101 cyclists; 90 bicycles.
20 Pet Shops: 489 deliveries/day; 39 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
11 Retail kiosks: 96 deliveries/day; 16 cyclists; 14 bicycles.
9 Mattress stores : 68 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
6 Electronic workshops: 52 deliveries/day; 8 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
3 Flower shops: 50 deliveries/day; 5 cyclists; 5 bicycles.
2 Woodworks: 34 deliveries/day; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
2 Cleaning supplies stores: 26 deliveries/day; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
9 Freelancers: 160 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
2 Cobblers: 22 deliveries/day; 3 cyclists; 3 bicycles.
4 Auto parts stores: 40 deliveries/day; 5 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
5 Video rentals: 91 deliveries/day; 9 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
9 Butchers: 378 deliveries/day; 17 cyclists; 17 bicycles.
11 Bars: 68 deliveries/day; 10 cyclists; 15 bicycles.
42 Drugstores: 2377 deliveries/day; 132 cyclists; 124 bicycles.
35 Snack and juice: 844 deliveries/day; 57 cyclists; 51 bicycles.
32 Restaurants: 724 deliveries/day; 59 cyclists; 58 bicycles.
Here are the details of the establishments, the number of deliveries, cyclists and bikes/trikes.
42 Drugstores: 2377 deliveries; 132 cyclists; 124 bicycles.
38 Bakeries: 1307 deliveries; 71 cyclists; 68 bicycles.
36 Construction & electrical supplies: 768 deliveries; 60 cyclists; 56 bicycles.
35 Snack and juice: 844 deliveries; 57 cyclists; 51 bicycles.
32 Restaurants: 724 deliveries; 59 cyclists; 58 bicycles.
32 Laundries: 557 deliveries; 41 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
29 Supermarkets: 1398 deliveries; 86 cyclists; 79 bicycles.
22 Beverage Distributors: 1812 deliveries; 101 cyclists; 90 bicycles.
20 Pet Shops: 489 deliveries; 39 cyclists; 42 bicycles.
11 Retail kiosks: 96 deliveries; 16 cyclists; 14 bicycles.
11 Bars: 68 deliveries; 10 cyclists; 15 bicycles.
9 Freelancers: 160 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
9 Mattress stores : 68 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 9 bicycles.
9 Butcheries: 378 deliveries; 17 cyclists; 17 bicycles.
6 Electronic workshops: 52 deliveries; 8 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
5 Video rentals: 91 deliveries; 9 cyclists; 8 bicycles.
4 Auto parts stores: 40 deliveries; 5 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
3 Flower shops: 50 deliveries; 5 cyclists; 5 bicycles.
2 Woodworks: 34 deliveries; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
2 Cleaning supplies stores: 26 deliveries; 4 cyclists; 4 bicycles.
2 Cobblers: 22 deliveries; 3 cyclists; 3 bicycles.
Other: 180 deliveries; 23 cyclists; 22 bicycles.
The count found some interesting details hidden in the data, too:
- More than half of pet shop deliveries are for animal transport. Approximately 120 pets are transported by bicycle per day in Copacabana.
- In certain stores, flat tires virtually stopped after repairing puncture became riderâ€™s responsibility.
- Some tricycles come to move more than 300 kg of cargo.
- The largest fleet is owned by a drugstore, with 13 bicycles.
- 95% of deliveries are within a 3 km range. 4% go beyond 3 km. 1% are in the immediate area.
- 95% of bicycles are property of establishments, 4% are property of employees,
- More than 50% of all travels include food.
- The count did not include the many custom-made trikes selling popcorn, churros, steamed corn and other foodstuffs.
In addition to the Transporte Ativo report, there was an annex produced by Transporte Ativo and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which sought to discover further details and motivation behind this transport behaviour.
Main advantages of bicycle and tricycle use on goods delivery, according to the establishments managers.
Weight of loads delivered by tricycles and bicycles.
Accidents involving the bicycle deliverers.
Measures needed to provide greater traffic security and visibility, according to bicycle deliverers.
There you have it. Not a bad report at all, is it? European cities are moving forward with cargo bikes as a solution to the transport logistic problems. American cities are rising to the challenge, too. Then there’s Rio de Janeiro. Just getting on with it.