DPD has reported that its experiences of using three electrically assisted transport bikes in Nuremberg have shown that this environmentally-friendly delivery vehicle is a “promising and practical” option.
In the south of Nuremberg, DPD has been using the bikes with a centrally located micro-depot, where parcels destined for the inner-city are stored and distributed. The micro-depot and transport bikes are part of a pilot project for sustainable inner-city logistics under the technical supervision of Nuremberg Technical University.
Gerd Seber, Group Manager Sustainability & Innovation at DPD Deutschland, commented: “”Our initial experiences in Nuremberg have demonstrated clearly that transport bikes are a promising and practical alternative to conventional delivery vehicles.
“Transport bikes not only enable emissions-free parcel deliveries locally, but are also more practical and efficient in inner-city traffic.”
In a statement issued yesterday (16 March), DPD added: “Since December DPD has already delivered 5,000 parcels by transport bike in the southern suburbs of Nuremberg. Each bike has a transport capacity of 1.45 m³, which is sufficient for up to 80 parcels. The transport bikes have a battery-powered drive unit which assists the parcel courier, while the large, lockable rear door and a smaller side door provide the courier with easy access to the parcels carried by the bike.
“In Nuremberg DPD makes deliveries by transport bike mainly to private consignees in a test area covering the districts of Glockenhof, Steinbühel, Galgenhof and Hummelstein. In these densely populated residential areas with a high stop density the transport bikes are significantly more efficient than conventional delivery vans. For the same number of stops the bicycle couriers have to travel much shorter distances, have less ground to cover on foot and don’t lose any time looking for somewhere to park. In inner-city traffic the highly manoeuvrable transport bikes are also considerably easier to manage than conventional delivery vehicles.”
“The connection with a micro-depot is a necessary one, because although transport bikes are ideal for delivering individual parcels locally, they are not suitable for carrying the parcels from the sorting centre to the inner city.”
DPD said that finding suitable – and available – locations for the micro-depots is the principal challenge when it comes to using transport bikes.
“Inner-city space is in great demand and is becoming increasingly scarce,” said Seber. “For the purpose of establishing alternative delivery concepts in the long term we therefore appeal to the municipalities to cooperate even more closely with parcel services.”
Significantly , DPD said that intends to continuing the transport bikes “on a permanent basis” when the Nuremberg pilot project ends. The company will also be using three transport bikes in Hamburg, and said that “discussions are also already taking place with a large number of other cities with the aim of enabling DPD – on the basis of the experience gained in Nuremberg – to extend the use of transport bikes significantly in the medium term”.