DHL Express testing pedal power for deliveries in Berlin, Frankfurt

DHL Express testing pedal power for deliveries in Berlin, Frankfurt

DHL Express is testing the use of bicycles for the express delivery of documents and small parcels in Germany for the first time. The company has been piloting the use of bicycle couriers in nine European countries so far, including the Netherlands, France, Britain and Italy.

Stating that the European pilots have been successful, DHL said it is now to begin testing in Berlin and Frankfurt.

Two different models will be tried in each of the cities until the end of this month.

The first model uses a special kind of bicycle, called a DHL Parcycle, that has a 140-liter container on board to hold shipments. The second model uses a more standard bicycle — a DHL Touring Bike — with a courier backpack.

DHL said it is also planning on expanding the tests to two other major cities in northern and southern Germany.

Reaching parts that other vehicles cannot, bicycles could even mean shorter delivery routes, DHL said

Tobias Wider, the DHL Express divisional board member, said bicycles could make deliveries “significantly” more flexible and faster in busy downtown areas and conurbations.

“Unlike delivery vehicle drivers, bicycle couriers can always drive right up to the recipient’s door, are not affected by downtown traffic volumes or access restrictions, and at times can even use shorter routes,” he explained.

The use of bicycle transport can also help DHL to meet the demand for more environmental shipping, the company added.

“Our aim is to utilise bicycle couriers in the next few years anywhere they can improve our customer service and effectiveness,” Wider said.

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