Mobility and Transport

Clean transport, Urban transport

6.2 Cycle logistics

6.2 Cycle logistics

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Overview

Cycle logistics services can improve goods delivery and transport passengers in a more efficient way compared to motorised transport. Examples include last and first-mile delivery services, home deliveries, transporting children and other persons, goods shipments in cities as well as bicycle servicing at home by professionals and other providers using cargo bikes.

Considerations for applicability

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Level of cycling

Cycle logistics services can be introduced in cities with both low and high levels of cycling. Cities with a low level of cycling may require additional motivational support aimed at stakeholders or potential users of the services, and the implementation of appropriate cycle infrastructure required to support their use (e.g. cycle parking facilities, cycle lanes etc.).

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Urban layout/topography

Cycle logistics are likely to be appropriate in city centres, as deliveries like first and last mile services benefit from a concentration of businesses in one or several locations.

Cities with particularly hilly topography may face initial barriers to introducing cycle logistics, which could be overcome through the use of electric powered cargo bikes. Their commercial use may also increase the readiness of people to use cargo bikes for private journeys (shopping/transport of children etc.).

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Population

Subsidies for the purchase or rental of cargo bikes and the ability to test services could motivate families to use cargo bikes for the transport of children/facilitate shopping etc.

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Finance Resources

The finance required depends on the services on offer. Working with private actors, such as a cycle logistics provider, can help to keep investment and ongoing costs low. Financial resources required also depend on the scope of the measure. They often see rather an initial investment with then lower or balanced financial resource use. Extreme variation can be seen e.g. in high costs of establishing a consolidation centre hosting several logistics actors or in saving costs by transferring courier and mail services from own organisation to an external cycle logistics provider.

In Hamburg, the use case of the micro consolidation centre in cooperation with UPS cost €15,000 for the business district and €30,000 for UPS.

The consolidation centre of Vicenza is working in balance without any public subsidies and needed an initial capital of €50,000.

Vienna's subsidy scheme for cargo bikes invested €300,000 for 322 purchases.

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Time & Human Resources

Time and human resources required vary with the scope and nature of the measure. While some measures are mainly organised and managed by private actors, others need years of preparation and planning with input from the city. Resource needs are highest during the preparation and planning phase and for the promotion of services. Time and human resources are often needed for the acquisition of stakeholders and negotiating/defining the setting of a service.

Measure impact highlight

Public transport, bus and cyclist Modal share

Cycle logistics services and options directly promote a modal shift in favour of cycling. The options to replace a car, van or lorry include direct, first and last mile delivery of goods and services by bicycle; and the use of cargo bikes for service trips (e.g. by craftsmen and other services).

Note: An overview of the direct and indirect impacts resulting from correctly implemented cycling measures is available in Challenges that cities face and how cycling can address them.

In-depth measure analysis, case studies and further guidance