Photo by Uwe Weissflog, inMotion
European Cycle Logistics Conference
More than 200 delegates from 25 countries got together at the second European Cycle Logistics Conference on Saturday April 12, 2014 in Nijmegen, Netherlands, to celebrate the stellar potential of cycle delivery in developing new business models and reducing congestion in inner cities. As proof of concept, the catering and delivery of the lunch at the conference was carried out entirely by cargo bikes!
The SUV for Intelligent Living
More and more companies understand that using bikes and cargo bikes relieves congestion in cities and saves money. DHL Netherlands, global parcel delivery and logistics firm, replaced 33 trucks with 33 cargo bikes, saving 152 metric tons of CO2 and €430,000 per year.
“In the Netherlands, 10% of all our vehicles are bikes,” said Arne Melse from DHL Netherlands. “The trend is accelerating. From our pilots in four EU countries we see that, indeed, it is possible to deliver by cycle.”
The bulk of cycle logistics operators who attended the conference were small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). Johan Erlandson from Move by Bike, Sweden, highlighted: “We deliver more than 5000 newspapers daily by bike in Malmo, carrying an overall weight of over 600 kilos. Business is definitely growing.”
In fact, bike delivery is extremely cost effective and the rise of e-commerce raises more demand for delivery in cities.
“It is boom time for cargo bikes. Big international companies like DHL are using bikes for deliveries, integrating them into their model. This is because up to 70% of delivery costs are in the last mile and they can save money and increase efficiency. Those companies also show that this is a credible solution for young businesses,” says Dr. Randy Rzewnicki, ECF Project Manager for CycleLogistics.
“We are witnessing a shift in the industry. We need a strong European Cycle Logistics Federation in order to establish minimum standards for municipalities and industry, multiply our lobbying efforts at national and European level and provide extensive support for start-up companies,” said Richard Armitage, founding Director of ECLF.
Cycle Logistics Global Dream Team
One out of ten delegates at the ECLF conference were from start ups in the area of cycle service. Three out of ten were successful cycle logistics operators who shared their knowledge and experiences. Representatives from the cycling industry, municipality officials and urban planners completed the mix of stakeholders who together can bring cycling delivery to the next level.
“There are 2.000-3.000 cargo bikes today in London. We estimate that sales of cargo bikes will increase up to 20% in 2014,” pointed out Andrea Casalotti, importer of cargo bikes in the UK.
“Politicians are essential to secure funding for cycling infrastructure,” said Sjors Van Duren, Cycling officer for the Arnhem and Nijmegen Region in Netherlands. For the period 2010-2017, six cycle highways of 80 km will be completed with a budget of €55 million, facilitating cycle deliveries of bigger scale. “We are re-using existing infrastructure to extend bike lanes and reduce operational costs as much as possible,” concluded Van Duren.