The final part of the logistics chain when the package is transported to the final recipient is known as 'the last mile delivery' and it is in this step that cycle couriers and electric bicycles can play a key role in delivery and logistics within modern urban areas. However, there are currently very few dedicated logistics centres built specifically to cater to last-mile delivery by bike.
In Gothenburg, a new logistics centre for e-cargo bikes established on the basement floor of the Nordstan shopping centre will offer a new solution for couriers. Three logistics companies are involved from the start, and all companies are welcome to rent space on the premises.
The city is the only one offering a place for transhipment and parking to all logistics operators, which have responded with enthusiasm to the initiative.
“That's a big step. I cannot mention any other city that offers such a transhipment and parking service to any logistics operator”, says Johan Erlandsson, CEO of the Gothenburg-based Velove Bikes.
The initiative was established following cooperation with cargo bike operators and logistics companies Velove Bikes, Best, DHL Express and Pling.
“The basic idea is to use distribution vehicles that are adapted to the urban environment. Several heavy tons of vans are oversized to deliver 2.5 kilogram packages. We want to move those flows to smaller vehicles that do not have to be stuck in the traffic queue, and at the same time, greatly reduce both congestion and energy consumption”, Erlandsson adds.
In the beginning, eight or nine cargo bikes from the three affiliated companies will use Nordstan as a transhipment site. Each of the companies will rent their own space and sign a separate contract with Nordstan.
In addition to a safe place to store the electric bicycles and reload goods from truck to bicycle container, there is also room for service and maintenance. Moreover, plans are underway to expand operations in Nordstan by including, for example, cleaning companies or craftsmen who use electric bicycles instead of cars.
Photo: Tony Webster, Flickr.