Thursday, March 2, 2017

Major Express Freight Carrier Refines Pedal Powered Delivery Concept

DHL Express Pilots New Programme
Shipping News Feature
GERMANY – NETHERLANDS – Major logistics company DHL Express is piloting a new City Hub concept that refines their implementation of the use of cargo bicycles for final delivery in city centres and could enable increased use of those vehicles for inner-city deliveries. Currently undergoing trials in Frankfurt and Utrecht, the City Hub is a customised trailer which can carry up to four containers for the DHL Cubicycle, a customised cargo bicycle which can carry a container with a load of up to 125 kg (one cubic metre in volume). A DHL van delivers the trailer into the city centre, where the containers are loaded on to two Cubicyles for last-mile inner-city delivery. It can then be reloaded for outbound shipments.

DHL state that by making impromptu freight hubs actually within the ‘last mile’ of the delivery they expect to significantly reduce emissions by minimising the mileage and time spent on the road by standard delivery vehicles. Each City Hub can replace up to two standard delivery vehicles, with an equivalent carbon dioxide saving of over sixteen tonnes per year and a significant reduction in other emissions. John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express Europe said:

"DHL Express has already replaced up to 60% of inner-city vehicle routes in some European countries with cargo bicycles, and we expect that the City Hub and Cubicycle will both help us to accelerate this approach in other markets over the next 3-5 years. Bicycles offer a number of advantages in express delivery operations: they can bypass traffic congestion and make up to two times as many stops per hour than a delivery vehicle. The total cost of ownership over their lifetime is less than half of a van. And crucially, they generate zero emissions, which reinforces our own ongoing programme to minimise our environmental footprint and supports city governments' efforts to promote sustainable city living."

Thanks to its use of standardised containers, which match the dimensions of a standard shipping pallet and can be transferred more easily and quickly between the different modes of transport within the DHL Express network, the City Hub concept will bring additional speed and reliability to DHL's last-mile delivery operations for documents and small packages. DHL Express has introduced bicycles in more than 80 European cities in 13 European countries to date, including 14 Cubicycles in seven cities. Cubicycle couriers cover on average 50 kilometres per day.

The initiative is part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group's environmental protection programme which focuses on optimising the carbon efficiency of all operations. DHL has set itself an ambitious climate protection goal of improving its carbon efficiency by 30% (against a 2007 baseline) by the year 2020. Deutsche Post DHL Group has improved its carbon efficiency to date by 25%.