You thought cargo bike was just a weird hipster family stuff? Think twice. In the past, before the motor vehicles boom, cargo bikes used to be a very efficient urban delivery tool. And, indeed, they still are. According to a recent study quoted by MNN, cargo bikes could easily cover 50% of urban deliveries needs. And this method of transport is both ecological and cost-effective.
In a factory, warehouse or open-air plan work environment, cargo bikes can magically improve work conditions: low operation noise, zero toxic emissions… But cargo bikes not only suppress pollution. Infact, they also contribute to lower operations budget: low investment, no gas bills, no maintenance fees, no battery to replace… On top of it, local businesses will also appreciate that cargo bikes offer a generous advertising surface, free of charge.
The Danish Post, IKEA and UPS Run Cargo Bike Fleets
As a result, a growing number of reputable companies and organizations around the world have implemented cargo bike as a way to cut delivery costs, reduce emissions and advertise their products. For example, global furniture leader IKEA. In the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, some IKEA stores allow customers to load up their purchases on a specially commissioned cargo bike, and ride home.
In Denmark, the Danish Post Office has been using cargo bikes for long. They even commissioned their own custom-built electric cargo bike and dedicated a postage stamp to it. This helped establish cargo bike as a normal mode of transportation. Nowadays, in Copenhagen, 25% of families with two kids own a cargo bike! In Germany, the government has followed this example, and published a guide to promote cargo bikes for businesses.
American company Brooklyn Whole Foods started deliveries with a custom electric cargo bike equipped with cooler and solar-powered charger. In Oregon, Rhode Island and other locations, logistic giant UPS also experimented cargo bikes. They discovered that urban delivery bike fleets can easily scale up when there’s a holiday rush. Another example: urban delivery service Portland’s B-Line claims to have replaced 30,000 car and truck journeys since their inception!
Cargo Bike, The Solution for Small and Medium Enterprises
However, cargo bikes are not only suitable for big businesses. Indeed, the cargo bicycle rebirth is fueled by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating micro-fleets. American potter Sarah Howe regularly rides hundreds of pounds of ceramics six miles with the ELF velomobile ; Little Bread Pedlar Bakery uses other types of human-powered vehicles to deliver breads and pastries to cafes around London…
If you wish to purchase or produce cargo bikes, feel free to contact Cycle Export®, cycling consultant and bike project management agency. We operate from Taiwan, the heart of the bicycle high-tech, and cover China and south-east Asia. We provide tailor-made services to international SMEs, startups and crowdfunding groups. For example: strategy and design consulting, product sourcing, supplier research, factory inspection, quality control, shipping assistance.